Dr Natasha Henschke
PhD Alumni
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Fecundity, growth and population structure: Processes influencing salp swarms

Pelagic tunicates are a relatively understudied, yet important class of gelatinous zooplankton. Regularly occurring in intermittent swarms, these organisms can quickly become the most dominant zooplankton within an area. Due to their ability to both feed more efficiently and grow faster than other herbivorous zooplankton, high densities of pelagic tunicates can cause a major impact to the marine ecosystem. By examining the long term abundance and distribution of pelagic tunicates in southeastern Australian waters, as well as examining processes contributing to the formation of swarms, this study will increase the understanding of the effects of these organisms on the marine ecosystem.

Lab Group Fisheries and Marine Environmental Research Facility


Professor Iain Suthers

Dr Jason Everett



Henschke, N., Everett, J.D., Baird, M.E., Taylor, M.D., Suthers, I.M. (2011) Distribution and life history stages of the salp Thalia democratica in relation to water masses of the western Tasman Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 430 49-62