INNOVATIVE SCIENCE ACHIEVING CONSERVATION
The movement dynamics of organisms related to size, foraging, and reproduction coupled with their hierarchical trophic interactions are principal factors that structure terrestrial and aquatic food webs in space and time. Ecosystems naturally show a degree of plasticity, but with climate warming, large-scale human disturbance and the introduction of exotic species, important questions are arising over species adaptability and overall food web regime and trophic shifts. The vision of the Hussey Lab is to understand how individual, population and community level movement and foraging decisions and environmental regimes shape the distribution of predators and prey and indeed structure aquatic ecosystems. Specifically, our lab seeks to understand the Anthropocene impacts on animal behavior and biodiversity and the consequences for ecosystem structure and its management. To achieve our research addresses three overarching themes; (1) quantifying the spatial and temporal movement patterns of aquatic organisms and determining the mechanistic drivers of the observed patterns; (2) quantifying and examining how intra- and inter-species variability in interactions shape ecosystems and; (3) assessing the impact of climate and human pressures on animal behavior and biodiversity and their associated effects (potentially positive and negative) on ecosystem structure. The overriding aim is to use a holistic approach, through an integrative framework, to provide data for management and conservation at the species to ecosystem level. Our lab is firmly rooted in adopting a positive approach to conservation and management, working with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure science translates to direct management actions (and benefits) within a sustainable framework.