News, research and teaching relating to the National Marine Science Centre

A woman wearing a SCU shirt in front of an underwater mural

A seafood sentinel marine scientist from SCU has been announced as one of Australian's newest Superstars of STEM, a program that tackles the gender inequity of visible diverse role models in the media.

  18 November 2022

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Girl standing in ocean looking out to sea

For many, Byron Bay is a magical place of incredible natural beauty. But Byron's marine habitats face increasing threats and need scientists and managers ready to tackle them head-on with solutions. one of these is Southern Cross graduate Zoe White. She worked as a scuba driving instructor for several years in the Bryon shire, developing a strong connection to the land and sea.

  1 November 2022

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A man leaning against marine tanks.

Dr Peter Butcherine at the National Marine Science Centre

 9 September 2022

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Kirsten Benkendorff inspecting mollosc

Southern Cross University is now listed among the world’s top 100 universities for ocean studies and research, according to the latest Shanghai Rankings.

 2 August 2022

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A man wearing beanie and red jacket in front of island moutain range

Southern Cross University Bachelor of Science student Luke Austin is among a select group of next generation rural leaders to receive a prestigious Horizon Scholarship.

 11 April 2022

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Marine Science Student Rhiannon Mitchell at the beach

Rhiannon Mitchell, a Mununjali woman and Marine Science student at Southern Cross University, is making waves. She wants to change the future of Indigenous girls and women through ‘Saltwater Sistas,’ a mentoring program that creates a safe, culturally appropriate place to learn about culture, wellbeing, and ocean conservation.

 07 April 2022

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Leaf Oyster

Camouflaged by a layer of silty mud, most people probably wouldn’t notice the large flat oysters lurking beneath shallow water in Australia’s coastal estuaries. These are remarkable “leaf oysters”, and they can form reefs, produce mauve pearls, and reach the size of a dinner plate.

 20 January 2022

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Associate Professor Steve Purcell

A Southern Cross University manual for postharvest processing of small-scale fishery products is now available in eight languages.

 01 December 2021

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Olivia (Olly) Pitt, Southern Cross University marine science graduate, grins from ear to ear. “It just never gets old,” she says. “We’ve released hundreds of turtles and every time it’s the same feeling.” 

  21 October 2021

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Completed bioreactor system

Prototype woodchip bioreactors may reduce nitrogen pollution entering nearby waterways by as much as 85% in the right conditions.

  12 October 2021

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Plume of seawater droplets from sprayer rises into the sky

Southern Cross University-led field trials of an innovative new technique that aims to prevent coral bleaching by spraying microscopic seawater particles into the air is producing exciting preliminary results.

  26 August 2021

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A coral colony against blue water

Coral populations have genetic potential to adapt to warming oceans, according to new research by Southern Cross University researchers.

  23 August 2021

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A coral spawning credit Anna Scott

A single generation of selective breeding can make corals better able to withstand extreme temperatures, according to our new research. The discovery could offer a lifeline to reefs threatened by the warming of the world’s oceans.

  21 August 2021

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Loggerhead sea turtle

Southern Cross University expertise and resources will bolster rescue and research for marine animals off the Mid North Coast in a new partnership.

  11 August 2021

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Scientist holds up beaker with green liquid

Southern Cross lecturer and researcher Dr Benjamin Mos specialises in aquaculture and human impacts in oceans and waterways. Working from the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, Ben is a descendant of the Turrbal people, the original inhabitants of Meeanjin (Brisbane). He believes this rich heritage has helped with his career as a scientist.

  14 September 2021

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Professor Kirsten Benkendorff

From cancer cures to potent water filters, marine molluscs – all things snail, slug and octopi – have a lot to offer. Just ask the Director of the National Marine Science Centre, Professor Kirsten Benkendorff.

  6 August 2021

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White corals that look like skeletons

If the trend of declining coral growth continues at the current rate, the world’s coral reefs may cease calcifying around 2054.

  11 June 2021

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Cauliflower-like cauliflower with a yellow seahorse

The gardens of purple, cauliflower-like corals that have long-delighted divers in Port Stephens waters are in significant decline.

  1 June 2021

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Horticulture in Coffs coast catchment with Shane White and Praktan Wadnekar

Coffs coast waterways are bearing the brunt of a nitrogen double-whammy from fertilisers and recycled sewage. Remarkably in dry periods, though, the waterways can protect downstream habitats by removing much of the nitrogen naturally.

  15 September 2020

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Crown of thorns starfish newly settled juvenile credit Benjamin Mos

Discovery of the diet flexibility of juvenile crown of thorns starfish has complicated scientists’ ability to predict the timing of devastating outbreaks of adults on coral reefs.

  21 July 2020

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Anna Scott in ABC documentary Australia's Ocean Odyssey

The famous ocean highway that transported Nemo the clownfish along Australia’s east coast is the subject of a new documentary featuring Southern Cross University sea anemone expert Dr Anna Scott.

  8 June 2020

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Marine science fish at Solitary Islands Aquarium Coffs Harbour

Southern Cross University is seeing an unprecedented increase in demand for science degrees into the second half of 2020.

  7 June 2020

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Cloud brightening equipment

As the world grapples with COVID-19, the Great Barrier Reef is facing a crisis of its own – its third mass bleaching in five years.

  20 April 2020

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RRAP program photo

Southern Cross University has joined the world-leading Reef Restoration and Adaptation (RRAP) Program to help preserve and restore the Great Barrier Reef in the face of rising ocean temperatures and coral bleaching.

  16 April 2020

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Adult crown of thorns starfish

Crown of thorns starfish lie in wait as algae-eating young before attacking coral. Research published today (8 April 2020) in Biology Letters has shown that juvenile starfish can delay their diet shift to coral for at least 6.5 years.

  8 April 2020

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large numbers of fish near ocean floor

Sydney's desalination plant has delivered an unexpected effect on the marine life surrounding its discharge outlet — a massive increase in fish life.
This article published on the ABC News website.

  19 December 2019

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New Australatya shrimp species

Researchers have described an unusual species of shrimp found in north Queensland, which scales 100-metre high waterfalls, changes gender, and uses nets on its front legs to eat.

  16 December 2019

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Dr Ben Mos

The Australian Research Council recently announced the prestigious 2020 Discovery Program awards. The grants awarded included $577,000 for a Discovery Indigenous project.

  11 December 2019

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One of Tomoki Mishina’s big life dreams is to create a world in which tuna live in home aquariums. Actually, that’s sort of a joke as, Tomoki (Tom) says, “a tuna is huge; who would have that in their room?” His ambition is, however to “make something that’s impossible, possible.”

  23 September 2019

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One Tree Island coral slope

Large portions of the Great Barrier Reef have experienced devastating coral decline, but there is one island bucking the trend. New research from Southern Cross University doctoral researcher Kay Davis shows One Tree Island, near Gladstone in the southernmost neighbourhood of the Great Barrier Reef, has experienced remarkable coral growth.

  25 June 2019

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Drones Debra Stokes and Andrew Colefax

Drones were deployed at NSW beaches more than three years to monitor sharks and develop surveillance procedures in an effort to keep beach-goers safe following a spate of attacks in 2015.

  29 May 2019

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Isaac Santos

The Australian Academy of Science, the nation’s peak science body, has awarded its prestigious 2019 Anton Hales Medal for distinguished research in the Earth Sciences to Professor Isaac Santos from Southern Cross University.

  28 February 2019

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Completed bioreactor system

Prototype woodchip bioreactors may reduce nitrogen pollution entering nearby waterways by as much as 85% in the right conditions.

12 October 2021

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