Angus Mitchell

Mr Angus Mitchell

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences


I am a marine biology PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide, researching the isolated and concurrent effects of ocean warming and acidification on tropical range shifting damselfish and their novel temperate competitors.

Warming oceans are facilitating marine species to undertake poleward biogeographic shifts. Increasing dispersion of invading species has forced native species to interact with invaders through competition for available resources. Strengthening of the East Australian Current in combination with warming waters in South East Australia has enabled more than 150 tropical fish species to disperse from higher latitudes into temperate ecosystems. Research focussing on vagrants has primarily assessed their physiological responses under temperate conditions. How range shifts in combination with ocean warming and acidification, novel abiotic and biotic conditions, and foreign interactions may affect the behaviour and fitness of tropical vagrants entering temperate systems, and concurrently, how potential temperate natives might change their behaviours in response to novel interactions remains unclear. Ecologically, how interactions between tropical and temperate fishes might affect community dynamics, species behaviour, and biodiversity are complicated questions of critical ecological importance. Hence, understanding these interactions will assist in predicting future SE Australian ecosystem functionality, species interaction, and biodiversity shifts under projected climatic conditions in SE temperate marine waters. Prospective research aims to encapsulate links between animal behaviour, species interactions, and ecological function of SE Australian marine ecosystems at the forefront of environmental change. This project will be the first to understand the unique interactions tropical vagrants and novel temperate competitors undergo from a multifaceted perspective (behavioural, ecological and physiological).

  • Position: PhD Candidate
  • Email: angus.mitchell@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Darling Building, floor 1
  • Room: 115
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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