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Andrea Walters

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Andrea Walters

Mesopelagic Ecologist
IMAS Marine & Antarctic Futures Centre (MAFC)
IMAS Fisheries, Aquaculture & Coasts Centre

IMAS Waterfront Building, Level 1, Hobart CBD Campuses

+61 3 6226 6679 (phone)

Andrea.Walters@utas.edu.au

Dr Andrea Walters is an ARC Antarctic Gateway Partnership Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. She is interested in the role that top and mid trophic level consumer's play in the structure and function of food webs.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeThesis TitleUniversityCountryDate of Award
PhDQuantifying the trophic linkages of Antarctic marine predatorsUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia16/08/2014
BAS (1st Class Hons)Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas): Tissue lipid profilesUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia13/12/2005
BSc University of TasmaniaAustralia09/08/2003

Languages (other than English)

 Basic French

Biography

Before commencing her postdoctoral position at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Andrea was a Research Assistant at the institute following completion of her postdoctoral studies at the University of Tasmania in 2014.

Research Themes

Andrea's research aligns to the University's research theme of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime and is undertaking an active research program within Theme 2 (Open Water and Under Ice Food Webs) in the Antarctic Gateway Partnership. Her research is aimed at building our understanding of environmental controls on mesopelagic organisms in Antarctic and Southern Ocean food webs. Mesopelagics live at depths between 200 and 1000 metres and mediate the transfer of energy from the lower to upper parts of the food webs and connect the upper ocean to the deep abyssal plains on the sea floor. Little is known about the biological and physical determinants that control the distribution of mesopelagic taxa and how these distributions may vary spatially and temporally. Andrea's research is focused on improving our understanding of the ecology of these important mid-trophic level organisms, notably zooplanktivores, by describing key rate parameters such as productivity of zooplanktivores as derived from their prey, and describing their role as prey, particularly related to the foraging by marine mammals and birds. Andrea's research will contribute to a better understanding of the structure and function of mesopelagic components of food webs, and the likely response of mesopelagic species to environmental change.

Memberships

Professional practice

  • Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (EGBAMM) from the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR)
  • Society of Marine Mammology
  • Australian Academy of Science
  • Australian Marine Sciences Association
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

Teaching

Marine and Southern Ocean studies, Polar marine ecosystems, Southern Ocean marine mammals and birds, Marine food webs and trophic dynamics, Utilisation of marine lipids and stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen as trophic indicators

Teaching expertise

  • 2015 - onwards: Lecturer First year undergraduate course KSA102 Introduction to Marine and Antarctic Studies. Andrea lectures students on the taxonomic classification, ecology and status of birds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean.
  • 2015 - onwards: Lecturer Second year undergraduate course KSM202 Marine and Antarctic Ecosystems. Andrea provides students with an overview of polar marine ecosystems, including the physical, biological and chemical processes which characterise these environments.
  • 2011-12: Guest Lecturer Third year/Masters course Birds and Mammals of the Southern Ocean, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Andrea lectures students on the scientific methods employed to gain an understanding of the diet and feeding ecology of birds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean.

Teaching responsibility

Research Invitations

  • 2013: Oral presentation, Walters, Lea, Bester, Goebel, Trathan, Miller, Sokolov, van den Hoff, Oosthuizen, Field and Hindell Quantifying the trophic linkages of Antarctic marine predators. Presented at the XIth SCAR Biology Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, 15-19 July
  • 2013: Poster presentation, Walters, Lea, Bester, Goebel, Trathan, Miller, Sokolov, van den Hoff, Oosthuizen, Field and Hindell Quantifying the trophic linkages of Antarctic marine predators. Presented at the Strategic Science in Antarctica, A joint Australian & New Zealand Conference 2013, Hobart, Australia, 24-26 June
  • 2011: Oral presentation, Walters, van den Hoff, Bester, Goebel, Trathan, Virtue, Lea, Sokolov and Hindell Stable isotopes document variation in foraging habitat and prey of wide-ranging Antarctic marine predators during winter. Presented at The Society of Marine Mammology: 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Tampa, Florida, United States, 27 November - 2 December
  • 2011: Oral presentation, Walters, A., Lea, M-A, van den Hoff, J., Field, I.C., Virtue, P., Hindell, M.A. Foraging habitat and trophic niche of sub-yearling southern elephant seals identified by stable isotope ratios and satellite telemetry. Stable Isotope Symposium, Perth, Australia, 10 May
  • 2010: Oral presentation: Walters, Hindell, Bester, Goebel, Trathan and Lea Stable isotopes document variation in foraging habitat and prey of migrating Antarctic fur seals during winter. Presented at the IPY Oslo Science Conference, Oslo, Norway, 6-12 June

View more on Dr Andrea Walters in WARP

Expertise

  • Pelagic marine environments
  • Mesopelagic ecology
  • Antarctic and Southern Ocean food webs
  • The management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
  • The use of stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen and marine lipids to characterise the trophic structure of mesopelagic fish assemblages
  • Trophic linkages of marine top predators in Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems

Awards

  • 2014: Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre Write Up Scholarship. Total: $6,000;
  • 2011: University of Tasmania Graduate Research Office Conference Travel Grant, 2011. Total: $5,000;
  • 2010: International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference Stipend Programme Recipient, 2010. Programme funded by The Research Council of Norway;
  • 2009: Tasmanian Marine Science Fellowship to conduct PhD research in France. Total: $5,000; Australian Marine Sciences Association 2009 Conference Student Travel Award. Total: $500; Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation Research Grant. Total: $37,650; Winifred Violet Scott Charitable Trust Grant. Total: $14,500.
  • 2008: Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Australian Antarctic Division Research Grant. Chief Investigator: M.A. Hindell. Total: $17,500
  • 2007: Tasmania Graduate PhD Research Scholarship

Collaboration

Andrea is currently involved in three international projects, which are primarily aimed at building our understanding of how Antarctic and Southern Ocean marine food webs respond to environmental change. Combined, these collaborative projects involve partnership between schools of biology at several universities and interdisciplinary research centres across Australia, Europe, South Africa and the United States.

Current projects

Fields of Research

  • Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) (060205)
  • Biological Sciences (069999)
  • Ecological Impacts of Climate Change (050101)
  • Global Change Biology (069902)
  • Ecosystem Function (050102)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity (050202)
  • Environmental Management (050205)
  • Epidemiology (111706)
  • Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)

Research Objectives

  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments (960507)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (960502)
  • Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (excl. Social Impacts) (960306)
  • Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change (960305)
  • Environmental Health (920405)
  • Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts) (960304)
  • Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960801)
  • Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960808)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences (970105)

Publications

Total publications

3

Journal Article

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2014Walters A, Lea M-A, van den Hoff J, Field IC, Virtue P, et al., 'Spatially explicit estimates of prey consumption reveal a new krill predator in the Southern Ocean', Plos One, 9, (1) Article e86452. ISSN 1932-6203 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086452 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Lea M-A; Virtue P; Hindell MA

Tweet

Chapter in Book

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Hindell MA, Walters A, 'Chapter 6: Diet and Nutrition', Marine Mammal Physiology: Requisites for Ocean Living, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, MA Castellini, J Mellish (ed), Boca Raton, USA, pp. 119-137. ISBN 9781482242676 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hindell MA

Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2015Trebilco R, Walters AR, Melbourne-Thomas J, Constable A, 'Resolving the role of mesopelagics in Southern Ocean food webs', IMBER (Integrating Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems Research), Norway (2015) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Trebilco R; Melbourne-Thomas J; Constable A

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

3

Total funding

$69,650

Projects

Quantifying Trophic Links in Four Antarctic Marine Predators (2009 - 2010)$37,650
Funding
Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation Inc ($37,650)
Scheme
Grant-Research Project
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Virtue P; Walters AR; Hindell MA
Period
2009 - 2010
Quantifying Trophic Links in Several Antarctic Marine Predators (2009 - 2010)$17,500
Funding
Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) ($17,500)
Scheme
Grant-Australian Marine Mammal Centre
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hindell MA; Walters AR; Virtue P
Period
2009 - 2010
Quantifying Trophic Links in Several Antarctic Marine Predators (2009)$14,500
Funding
Winifred Violet Scott Charitable Trust ($14,500)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hindell MA; Virtue P; Walters AR
Year
2009