Kilian Stehfest

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Kilian Stehfest

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Spatial Ecology

Room 34 , IMAS-Taroona

+61 6226 8253 (phone)

Dr Kilian Stehfest is a Research Fellow at the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Coasts division of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, focusing on the spatial ecology of marine fish.


Born and raised in Germany, Kilian moved to England to complete an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Ocean Science at the University of Plymouth. Discovering his love for marine biology during the Ocean Science degree he decided to specialize in the field by pursuing a Master of Research degree at the University of Plymouth in collaboration with the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, focusing on the use of underwater video technology for the mapping of benthic assemblages in a marine spatial planning context.

This was followed by a position as a postgraduate research assistant at the University of Plymouth’s Marine Biology and Ecology Research center. He then moved to Hobart to undertake his PhD at UTas/CSIRO, again focusing on spatial ecology in a conservation/fisheries context by exploring novel methods for quantifying movement behavior of free-ranging fish from telemetry data. Since completing his PhD in 2013, Kilian has been employed as a postdoctoral research fellow at the IMAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre.

Career summary


PhD Quantitative Marine Science

Novel methods for quantifying movement behavior of free-ranging fish from telemetry data

University of Tasmania/CSIRO



Marine Biology

Detection of spatial patterns in benthic soft-bottom assemblages for marine protected area design

University of Plymouth, UK.


BSc (Hons) Ocean Science

The accumulation of metals in seagrass Zostera marina bed sediment and rhizome tissue in two estuaries in South West England

University of Plymouth, UK


View more on Dr Kilian Stehfest in WARP

Research Themes

Kilian’s main research interest is in spatial marine ecology with a current focus on using telemetry technology to quantify the behavior of mobile marine species in a fisheries, aquaculture or conservation context.

In his current role as co-investigator and day-to-day coordinator of the Sense-T project “Sensing Macquarie Harbour - Salmon sentinels and sensor strings: real time environmental information and networking solutions to underpin a Decision Support System (DSS) for the Tasmanian salmon industry” Kilian is working on using cutting edge acoustic telemetry technology to make further improvements to sustainable aquaculture production in Macquarie Harbour and study the effects of low levels of dissolved oxygen on the behavior of salmon in aquaculture cages.

Fields of Research

  • Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) (310305)
  • Fish physiology and genetics (300504)
  • Fisheries management (300505)
  • Aquaculture (300501)
  • Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment (300502)
  • Behavioural ecology (310301)
  • Genetics (310599)
  • Ecological physiology (310303)
  • Natural resource management (410406)

Research Objectives

  • Aquaculture fin fish (excl. tuna) (100202)
  • Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems (180601)
  • Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna) (100305)
  • Marine biodiversity (180504)
  • Fisheries - wild caught (100399)
  • Fisheries - recreational freshwater (100301)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems (180201)
  • Coastal or estuarine biodiversity (180203)
  • Coastal and estuarine systems and management (180299)


Total publications


Journal Article

(14 outputs)
2021McMillan MN, Semmens JM, Huveneers C, Sims DW, Stehfest KM, et al., 'Grow or go? Energetic constraints on shark pup dispersal from pupping areas', Conservation Physiology, 9, (1) pp. 1-12. ISSN 2051-1434 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coab017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2020Morash AJ, Lyle JM, Currie S, Bell JD, Stehfest KM, et al., 'The endemic and endangered Maugean Skate (Zearaja maugeana) exhibits short-term severe hypoxia tolerance', Conservation Physiology, 8, (1) Article coz105. ISSN 2051-1434 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/conphys/coz105 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: Morash AJ; Lyle JM; Bell JD; Semmens JM


2019Queiroz N, Humphries NE, Couto A, Vedor M, da Costa I, et al., 'Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries', Nature, 572, (7770) pp. 461-466. ISSN 0028-0836 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1444-4 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 180Web of Science - 177

Co-authors: McAllister JD; Semmens JM; Soler G


2019Semmens JM, Kock AA, Watanabe YY, Shepard CM, Berkenpas E, et al., 'Preparing to launch: biologging reveals the dynamics of white shark breaching behaviour', Marine Biology, 166, (7) Article 95. ISSN 0025-3162 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-019-3542-0 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2017Huveneers C, Stehfest KM, Simpfendorfer CA, Semmens J, Hobday AJ, et al., 'Application of the Acoustic Propagation Model to a deep-water cross-shelf curtain', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8, (10) pp. 1305-1308. ISSN 2041-210X (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12806 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Semmens J; Hobday AJ


2017McAllister JD, Barnett A, Lyle JM, Stehfest KM, Semmens JM, 'Examining trends in abundance of an overexploited elasmobranch species in a nursery area closure', Marine and Freshwater Research, 69, (3) pp. 376-384. ISSN 1323-1650 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1071/MF17130 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5

Co-authors: McAllister JD; Lyle JM; Semmens JM


2017Stehfest KM, Carter CG, McAllister JD, Ross JD, Semmens JM, 'Response of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar to temperature and dissolved oxygen extremes established using animal-borne environmental sensors', Scientific Reports, 7 Article 4545. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-04806-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 72Web of Science - 68

Co-authors: Carter CG; McAllister JD; Ross JD; Semmens JM


2016Morash AJ, Mackellar SRC, Tunnah L, Barnett DA, Stehfest KM, et al., 'Pass the salt: physiological consequences of ecologically relevant hyposmotic exposure in juvenile gummy sharks (Mustelus antarcticus) and school sharks (Galeorhinus galeus)', Conservation Physiology, 4, (1) pp. 1-13. ISSN 2051-1434 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cow036 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2016Tunnah L, MacKellar SRC, Barnett DA, MacCormack TJ, Stehfest KM, et al., 'Physiological responses to hypersalinity correspond to nursery ground usage in two inshore shark species (Mustelus antarcticus and Galeorhinus galeus)', Journal of Experimental Biology, 219, (13) pp. 2028-2038. ISSN 0022-0949 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1242/jeb.139964 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2015Stehfest KM, Lyle JM, Semmens JM, 'The use of acoustic accelerometer tags to determine seasonal changes in activity and catchability of a recreationally caught marine teleost', ICES Journal of Marine Science, 72, (8) pp. 2512-2520. ISSN 1054-3139 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv115 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 12Web of Science - 12

Co-authors: Lyle JM; Semmens JM


2015Stehfest KM, Patterson TA, Barnett A, Semmens JM, 'Markov models and network analysis reveal sex-specific differences in the space-use of a coastal apex predator', Oikos, 124, (3) pp. 307-318. ISSN 0030-1299 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/oik.01429 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 24Web of Science - 18

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2014Campbell MS, Stehfest KM, Votier SC, Hall-Spencer JM, 'Mapping fisheries for marine spatial planning: gear-specific vessel monitoring system (VMS), marine conservation and offshore renewable energy', Marine Policy, 45 pp. 293-300. ISSN 0308-597X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2013.09.015 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 73Web of Science - 69


2014Stehfest KM, Patterson TA, Barnett A, Semmens JM, 'Intraspecific differences in movement, dive behavior and vertical habitat preferences of a key marine apex predator', Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 495 pp. 249-262. ISSN 0171-8630 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3354/meps10563 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15

Co-authors: Barnett A; Semmens JM


2013Stehfest K, Patterson TA, Dagorn L, Holland KN, Itano D, et al., 'Network analysis of acoustic tracking data reveals the structure and stability of fish aggregations in the ocean', Animal Behaviour, 85, (4) pp. 839-848. ISSN 0003-3472 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.02.003 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 28Web of Science - 27

Co-authors: Semmens JM


Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(3 outputs)
2020Moreno D, Lyle J, Semmens J, Morash A, Stehfest K, et al., 'Vulnerability of the endangered Maugean Skate population to degraded environmental conditions in Macquarie Harbour', Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Hobart, Tasmania, 2016-068 (2020) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Moreno D; Lyle J; Semmens J; Morash A; McAllister J; Barrett N

2018Ross J, Wild-Allen K, Andrewartha J, Stehfest K, MacLeod CK, 'Environmental Research in Macquarie Harbour - FRDC 2016/067: Understanding oxygen dynamics and the importance for benthic recovery in Macquarie Harbour', CSIRO; Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, University of Tasmania, Hobart, December (2018) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ross J; Wild-Allen K; MacLeod CK

2014Stehfest KM, Lyle JM, Semmens JM, 'Relating catchability of flathead to their seasonal activity and movement', Fishwise, Hobart, Tasmania, Final report (2014) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Lyle JM; Semmens JM

Other Public Output

(5 outputs)
2021Ross J, Beard J, Wild-Allen K, Andrewartha J, Stehfest K, et al., 'Understanding oxygen dynamics and the importance for benthic recovery in Macquarie Harbour', Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Australia, March, FRDC 2016/067 (2021) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ross J; Beard J; Wild-Allen K; Durand A; Semmens JM; Davey A; Hortle JA; Pender AJ; Quigley BT; MacLeod CK; Moreno DA


2018Ross J, Wild-Allen K, Andrewartha J, Stehfest K, MacLeod C, 'Understanding oxygen dynamics and the importance for benthic recovery in Macquarie Harbour - Progress Report', Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia, FRDC 2016/067, December (2018) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Ross J; MacLeod C

2017Stehfest K, 'Salmon Sensors interview', Drive, ABC Hobart, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Stehfest K, 'Research shows salmon will avoid warm water and low oxygen levels', The Mercury, News Corp Australia, Hobart, Australia (2017) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2017Stehfest K, 'Tasmania's EPA head defends personal decision to approve Tassal's salmon waste collection system', ABC News, ABC, Hobart, Australia (2017) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Vulnerability of the endangered Maugean Skate population to degraded environmental conditions in Macquarie Harbour (2017 - 2020)$421,129
This project aims to assess the impacts and implications of environmental conditions experienced in a heavily impacted estuarine system (Macquarie Harbour) on the physiology and survival of an endangered species (Maugean skate) with a view to formulating threat abatement and recovery plans for the species.
Fisheries Research & Development Corporation ($421,129)
Grant-Annual Open Call Round
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Lyle JM; Semmens JM; Stehfest K; Barrett NS
2017 - 2020
Sense-T Stage 2: Sensing Macquarie Harbour (2015 - 2016)$677,100
This Sense-T project brings together the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers' Association, IMAS and CSIRO to collect and analyse data from salmon farms in Macquarie Harbour. Sensors will be attached to individual 'sentinel' fish in pens in addition to sensors in the environment. Data will be collected on fish behaviour as well as environmental conditions such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen and depth. This will: help to reduce feed wastage by ensuring fish are fed when environmental conditions are suitable; collect new or previously difficult to obtain information about the harbour environment and the impact of salmon farming on variables such as oxygen levels; improve the salmon industry's efficiency and productivity; provide real-time data to support decision-making; and, highlight areas where the industry could improve its environmental practices.
Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association ($39,600); University of Tasmania ($637,500)
Grant - Institutional
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Semmens JM; Main A; McCulloch J; Ross DJ; Carter CG; Stehfest K
2015 - 2016
The impact of fish aggregating devices (FADs) on the movement and behaviour of tropical tuna (Thunnus obesus, Katsuwonus pelamis and Thunnus elbacares) (2009 - 2011)$17,500
Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($17,500)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Semmens JM; Frusher SD; Stehfest K
2009 - 2011

MSc of Marine and Antarctic Science - Kali Perronnes:

Broad-scale movement and space use of three batoid species in a Shark Refuge Area in southeast Tasmania