The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.

The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping.  One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.



A redeye gaper (Chaunax sp.) venting water at 240 meters depth. Seen during the Lophelia II 2008 expedition at the Green Canyon site in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gapers are Lophiiformes, in the anglerfish group, with big heads, a network of open sensory canals,and a lateral canal extending posteriorly along a compressed trunk and tail. They are sit-and-wait, ambush predators

kulololololo asked:

How did you narrow down your focus?

I’ve always been interested in how and why things do what they do and one of the most basic way to study this is through behavior. I did however try out many different things. I did a lot of genetic work, some aquaculture, and I’ve worked with corals. I learned very quickly that I am not much of a lab person and prefer to be outside to do my research. So being a field biologist/ecologist seemed the way to go. On top of that very few people study behavior now a days so I kind of see it as my chance to fill this niche.


Anonymous asked:

Why are you getting a MS in biology and not marine biology? Can you explain??

The program I am part of does not offer an MS in marine bio. And by getting it in biology, it opens up more opportunities for jobs. In the end it doesn’t really matter that I prefer to work with marine organisms vs terrestrial. What matters is the concentration of biology I do. For example I want to concentrate on ethology (animal behavior) or behavioral ecology where others prefer genetics or microbio.

Anonymous asked:

Where did you go to school for your undergrad and what did you major in? Where are you now and what exactly are you studying? Have you done an internship?

I did my undergrad at San Francisco State University, go gators! There I got my B.S. in marine biology and limnology (the study of freshwater systems).  I worked in an evolutionary development lab that focused on fishes (both freshwater and marine) on a few projects, as well as doing some animal husbandry stuff.

Currently I am California State University, Northridge and am working on my M.S. in Biology. Here I am studying the mating and courting behavior of Giant Sea Bass as well as their residency at spawning sites. learn a little about it here and here

I had an internship last summer working out in Taiwan at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium. On top of working in a lab during my undergrad, I would also volunteer to help people dive for various research projects.