SRFME funded 12 PhD students
at four Western Australian Universities who have strongly supported
the program through co-investing in stipends and operating funds
and providing supervision.
described in the final report outlines the involvement of ten research
organisations in SRFME projects with the vast majority of projects
having collaborations amongst multiple organisations.
Data Access and Visualisation
tools: SRFME has developed software tools that will allow WA marine
managers, and the broader researcher community to interactively
explore and visualise SRFME datasets and datasets from other projects.
The Strategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment (SRFME)
is a 6-year (2001-2006), $20 million joint venture between CSIRO
and the Western Australia Government. SRFME has the following as
SRFME will enhance Western Australia’s
marine research capability and capacity, deliver strategic research
outcomes of benefit to Western Australia and enhance collaboration
among marine researchers in Western Australia.
SRFME was established with the following high-level goals:
capability and capacity in marine science in Western Australia
strong collaboration among the Western Australian marine science
- Conduct fundamental and strategic research that is of
benefit to Western Australia and Australia
With these goals and focus in mind, SRFME has invested in strategic
research on the Western Australian marine environment in a way
which enhances capability and capacity for marine science, encourages
collaboration amongst the Western Australian research community
and delivers strategic research outcomes which will have long-term
benefits to the state.
This final report completed in December 2006 is aimed at presenting
SRFME’s achievements to date to its members, stakeholders
and collaborators. Some of the work presented here is still in
progress and will be completed over the coming year. Even then
much of the work that has been initiated by SRFME will be ongoing.
This is a product of both the nature of strategic scientific research
and strong and enduring collaborative partnerships that have been
developed as a result of SRFME.
By any measure, SRFME has achieved its goals and has set a new
benchmark in establishing collaborative research partnerships.
With regard to building capability and capacity in marine science
in Western Australia, SRFME has achieved its goal by growing CSIRO’s
marine research capacity in Western Australia from just 4 scientific
and support staff in 2001 to over 25 in 2006. These staff have
been relocated or recruited to its Floreat laboratories where they
have formed part of a critical mass of over 300 staff within CSIRO’s
Centre for Environment and Life Sciences. A strong partnership
developed between SRFME and CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans
also ensured strong links between SRFME researchers in WA and those
elsewhere in CSIRO working towards Wealth from Oceans ambitious
national and international goals in climate science, operational
oceanography and multiple use management.
Capability and capacity have also been further developed in Western
Australia through SRFME’s Postgraduate Scholarship program
and the SRFME Collaborative Projects program. SRFME funded 12 PhD
students at four Western Australian Universities who have strongly
supported the program through co-investing in stipends and operating
funds and providing supervision. Many of the SRFME students participated
in the SRFME Core Projects and were co-supervised by staff from
CSIRO and state research or management agencies. SRFME has also
created capability and capacity through the recruitment of 6 postdoctoral
researchers at Western Australian Universities as part of its $2
million investment in the SRFME Collaborative Projects.
In terms of facilitating collaboration, SRFME has brought about
a range of strong multidisciplinary collaborations to its research
programs. Research described in this report outlines the involvement
of ten research organisations in SRFME projects with the vast majority
of projects having collaborations amongst multiple organisations.
In particular the SRFME Core projects and the Jurien Bay Collaborative
projects comprise large multidisciplinary teams and include postdoctoral
fellows and PhD students in the projects. Through these large multidisciplinary
research projects, SRFME researchers have also secured a large
number of national facility sea days aboard the Southern
Surveyor enhancing these collaborations.
Strategic focus for Western Australia
Lastly, SRFME has met its goal to conduct fundamental and strategic
research that is of benefit to Western Australia and Australia
through all of its programs. The highlights of this work are outlined
in this final report. Volume 1, Chapter 1 sets out the background
to the establishment of SRFME, how it is managed and how its research
portfolio was developed. Chapter 2 provides summary reports on
each of the SRFME PhD scholarship projects, Chapters 3 and 4 contain
the SRFME Collaborative Projects and State Linkage Projects reports
respectively and Chapter 5 provides an overview of the large SRFME
Core Projects: Biophysical Oceanography, Coastal Ecosystems and
Biodiversity and Integrated Modelling. Chapter 6 provides a list
of all the publications arising from SRFME to date. Volume 2 covers
the SRFME Core Projects beginning with a summary and synopsis of
the research in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 on Oceanography, including
the Indian Ocean and role of the Leeuwin Current, as well as Inshore
Dynamics and Hydrodynamic Modelling, Sediment Dynamics, and Wave
Propagation and Dissipation, Chapter 3 on Coastal and Shelf Pelagic
Community Structure, including temporal and spatial variability
in primary and secondary productivity, Chapter 4 on Biogeochemistry
and Modelling, including a review of regional nutrient dynamics,
Chapter 5 on Benthic Ecosystem Structure, including spatial and
temporal variability in animal and plant diversity, Chapter 6 on
Benthic Ecosystem Dynamics, and Chapter 7 on Data Access and Visualisation
tools. Much of this work is now completed and has been published
in PhD theses, technical reports and the primary literature, and
the data, models and tools developed during SRFME are available
to researchers and natural resource managers.