Ecology

Ecology

Taronga Science

Marine Science Centre:Dr David Slip, Dr Joanna Day

The Marine Science Centre conducts research focusing on how ocean characteristics and human activity impact on marine species biology and conservation. Our studies often use information that can only be gathered using the animals at Taronga’s zoos, to translate the data we are gathering in the fi eld. Recently, we have gained unique information to determine the food requirements and catch success of ocean predators helping us to understand the energy balance of fi nding and catching prey in the dynamic currents off the NSW coast.

We have also studied the behaviour, movement patterns and social networks of Port Jackson sharks, developing techniques that will help us to understand the role these predators play in the ecosystem and enhance fi sheries sustainability and reducing by-catch. We have also conducted experiments at the Zoo to help us understand if sharks target people or if indeed we are 'by-catch'. We are examining the sound and visual cues given off by sharks’ natural prey compared to passing swimmers and surfers.

Terrestrial Ecology and Conservation Biology:
Dr Peter Harlow, Dr Neil Jordan, Mr Michael McFadden

Taronga’s terrestrial ecology and conservation biology scientists aim to identify and understand specific threats to wildlife and habitats across NSW and Australia. We work to test the best methods to address these threats, protect wildlife populations and maintain the essential services these species provide. Taronga’s dedicated staff actively engage in collaborative projects with academic and government partners to find solutions for the wild.

Our Eco-Logical Solutions Laboratory at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is focused on developing solutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict. Our Terrestrial Ecology Unit at Taronga Zoo is engaging citizens in science to expland our knowledge of the natural world.