Stacy Bierwagen

Graduate Student


   Ph.D. candidate, James Cook University


Stacy is currently a PhD candidate at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia with research directed towards reef community ecology and grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) abundance and behavior. Stacy received her BSc at Barry University in Miami, FL and MSc at University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her previous research has examined movement, distribution, and ecology of demersal and pelagic fish. Her current interests are better understanding localized ecological roles of predators in reef communities from an ecosystem and trophodynamic perspective.

    How do reef community trophodynamics impact grey reef shark abundance and resilience of local populations to effects of disturbance?

   Are there temporal changes in individual reef productivity within the study site?

   Which spatial and temporal factors have the greatest influence on home range and distribution of grey reef sharks at the local scale?

    Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Assesses the abundance and distribution of grey reef sharks within a local reef system in the central Great Barrier Reef.

   Explores biological and environmental parameters to infer fine-scale reef community characteristics and mechanisms driving shark movement.

   Uses complementary methodologies such as underwater visual census, diver operated video, remote underwater video, and baited remote underwater video in conjunction with acoustic telemetry to define predator-prey relationships at the reef level.

   Defines anthropogenic influence on trophodynamics in community structure by comparing open and closed fishing zones, and relative distance to shore.

    Australian Society for Fish Biology, Student Executive & Education Committee Representative

   Dedicated to creating opportunities for students to develop skills in science communication with the help of peers and mentors in their field of research. Launched the inaugural Student Competition in Science Communication (SCiSC) with the help of Thinkable and Australian Society for Fish Biology in 2015. The new competition will be held in early 2017.