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Julius Piercy

Julius collected data on the reef fish larval supply to coral reefs in the Wakatobi region and related these to the soundscapes of different reef habitats. His PhD project was titled “Coral reef noise, fish behaviour and the role of marine soundscapes in assessing reef quality“. Coral reefs are noisy environments providing, as such, many acoustic cues that marine vertebrates and invertebrates can utilise to gain important information on the reefs’ location, quality and species composition. Reef fish larvae use these acoustic cues to locate reefs after a phase spent in the pelagic and actively swim towards them. The data collected enabled the creation of models and simulations to replicate the way various species of fish larvae respond to different acoustic environments, the distance at which they respond to these cues and which frequencies are associated with their swimming behaviour. This information will be useful not only to understanding the patterns of larval supply in the Wakatobi region but also, more generally, for enhancing current conservation strategies. The PhD was funded through a NERC studentship and jointly supervised by Dr David Smith, Dr Edd Codling (University of Essex) and Dr Steve Simpson (University of Bristol).

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