Krill research earns PhD student a big award

June 23, 2015

PhD student Alicia Sutton has won the ASMA Allen awardInvestigating krill diversity and distribution in the Indian Ocean has led to a major award for PhD student Alicia Sutton.

Alicia was awarded the prestigious Allen Award by the Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) for her research into on basin-wide oceanographic drivers of krill zoogeography in the Indian Ocean.

AMSA is the peak professional body for all disciplines of marine science in Australia, and each year the organisation presents an outstanding postgraduate with the Allen Award to attend an international conference.

“I am planning on attending the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Annual Science Conference in Copenhagen, where I can present some of my larger scale research to a large scale, international audience,” Ms Sutton said.

This is Ms Sutton’s final year of PhD research at Murdoch University, and she hopes the conference will allow for networking opportunities that can lead to future research opportunities within the marine environment.

“During my PhD I conducted an Indian Ocean wide analysis of the environmental drivers of krill diversity and distribution, and I have modelled a number of these environmental factors to establish which ones are most important in driving high and low diversity,” Ms Sutton said.

“A large part of my research focuses on the environmental influences on krill assemblages off Western Australia, in the Leeuwin Current system, and these findings contributed to the krill diversity and distribution of the Indian Ocean.

“The biodiversity of krill is important because they are an important food source for commercially important fish, seabirds, rays and baleen whales.”

Ms Sutton will be presented with the Allen Award at the annual AMSA conference next month.

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