Melanie, Wells

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Melanie Wells

PhD Candidate

Sandy Bay Campus

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Assessing and managing disease threats to seabirds

Seabird population dynamics offer opportunities to detect and assess the biological effects of changes to physical parametres in the marine environment. The waters and islands of Bass Strait and adjacent Southern Ocean in south eastern Australia provide breeding and foraging habitat for several threatened seabird species, these waters are among the most rapidly warming on the globe. Infectious diseases have the potential to cause rapid declines and extinction in vertebrate populations, and are likely to be spreading with increased globalisation and climate warming. The importance of pathogens to marine predators has implication not only for contemporary populations, but also their adaptations to future climate regimes. Yet, in many cases, the significance of pathogens to marine predators remains unknown.

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