My PhD project is an investigation of the mechanisms by which Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries (Victoria, Australia) may meet their conservation objectives to sustain and enhance populations within and beyond their boundaries. Intertidal reef-associated gastropods are relatively sedentary animals but species display considerable variation in reproductive modes and larval types. Larvae of some species are capable of moving significant distances through transportation by water currents whilst others remain on, or close, to the reefs where they originated. Species biology combined with physical oceanography is therefore an important determinant of the extent to which local populations of marine organisms are connected. This in turn has implications for the efficacy of marine protected areas and is the central focus of my PhD research.
As part of this work, I have several animations of larval dispersal (save link or click to open in a new window):