SRFMEStrategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment


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Core Research Projects

The largest component of SRFME was the SRFME Core Research Projects. These were established to address the priorities established in the SRFME Framework and to enable SRFME to achieve its principal objective which was to deliver an enhanced marine research capability to Western Australia through re-establishing CSIRO’s marine research capability in Western Australia. This was to be achieved by relocating and recruiting 20 CSIRO marine research staff to Western Australia.

Development of the SRFME Core Projects

Core Project outlines were developed by CSIRO and considered by the SRFME Technical Advisory Committee. Projects developed were to be non-sectoral with research outcomes directed primarily at ensuring the strategic information requirements of the Western Australian Government were met. Projects were not to be developed for which existing dedicated funding mechanisms were in place or where the research would be more appropriately funded by other funding mechanisms. Additionally, it was determined that projects chosen must meet three criteria approved by the WA Government. These were that projects must be of high priority to the Western Australian Government and of high priority to CSIRO and best undertaken through a local CSIRO presence in WA. Through an iterative process spanning the period from July 2000 to May 2001, the projects were refined to the extent that they were broadly consistent with the strategic priorities for the WA Government priorities within the SRFME framework and could deliver a strong CSIRO research capability into Western Australia which complemented rather than duplicated existing capability. The process of developing the SRFME Core Projects was completed on 22 May 2001 and the resultant three SRFME Core Projects were carried out over five years between 2002 and 2006 at a cost of $15.3 million.

1. Biophysical Oceanography Core Project

The Biophysical Oceanography project sought to characterise the continental and shelf/slope pelagic ecosystem off south-western Western Australia: its productivity and dynamics, and the physical, chemical and biological factors driving spatial and temporal variability.

2. Coastal Ecosystems and Biodiversity Core Project

The Coastal Ecosystems and Biodiversity project was established to characterise the coastal benthic ecosystems of south-western Western Australia, with a particular focus on benthic reef ecosystems, their productivity and dynamics, and the physical, chemical and biological factors driving variability on a range of spatial and temporal scales.

3. Integrated Modelling Core Project

The Integrated Modelling project was developed with the objective of working closely with the other SRFME Core Projects to provide quantitative descriptions of the Western Australian and shelf ecosystems that will assist environmental managers to predict and monitor natural and anthropogenic change.


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