Dr Jonny (Jonathan) Stark: BSc, MSc, PhD
I am a marine ecologist leading research to aid the management and conservation of Antarctic coastal ecosystems. This includes research to support evidenced based decision making, and to provide practical advice to aid policy development to conserve and protect Australia’s Antarctic marine ecosystems. My research focuses on coastal ecosystems, benthic communities and environmental impacts. I began my career at the Institute of Marine Ecology (Sydney University), where I completed an MSc (1996) on impacts of urban runoff on intertidal mudflats. I have worked in a wide variety of regions from coral reefs to temperate kelp beds and Antarctic coasts. I completed my PhD in 2002 (UNE), which was the first study of the impacts of Australian Antarctic stations on the marine environment.
My research combines ecology and applied science and covers biology, ecology, chemistry and environmental science. I aim to further our understanding of Antarctic marine ecosystems and conduct research that will aid their management. My research has broken new ground in environmental impact assessment and monitoring in Antarctica, through a combination of traditional ecological impact assessment methods with novel experimental monitoring to identify cause and effect relationships between anthropogenic activity and ecological impacts. My research into the impact of an abandoned waste disposal site at Casey station contributed to the first full scale contaminated site remediation in the Australian Antarctic Territory in 2003–04.
My current research in Antarctic coastal ecosystems, conducted through the Environmental Protection and Change Program includes: the effects of research stations; the effects of climate change; biodiversity; and trophic ecology. This includes areas such as the effects of contaminants, spatial and temporal variation in Antarctic benthos, and ocean acidification and effects of changes in sea ice. It utilises cutting edge techniques in the areas of statistical analysis, genomics, chemical analyses and field methods. It has encompassed a broad range of biotopes including bacterial/microbial communities, meiofauna, macrofauna, epifauna and benthic megafauna, fish and seabirds. I am responsible for the design and implementation of marine monitoring programs for human impacts at Australian Antarctic stations. This research is also the basis of long-term monitoring, with data dating from 1996–97 at Casey.