Higher Degree by Research Candidate
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology
I'm a marine biology PhD candidate playing music to baby oysters to help restore our lost oyster reefs. Our future oceans could be ones full of rhythms and melodies that are engineered to attract and restore organisms to degraded habitats.
I'm also fascinated by the deep sea and the ever-advancing technology that is taking us there. I'd love to use my knowledge on underwater acoustics to help discover it!
Just 200 years ago, native flat oysters (Ostrea angasi) covered over 1500 kilometres of South Australia's coastline, providing rich foundations for marine ecosystems. They're now functionally extinct, but what if we could revive them using music?
My research explores how 'highways of sound' could be used to guide baby oysters lost at sea away from silent patches in the ocean towards our restoration reefs. By building affordable, self-innovated underwater speakers that broadcast marine soundscapes (i.e. snapping shrimp snaps), we can revive our lost ecosystems. This 'snappy' and non-intrusive solution is timely, as Australia is currently working to restore its lost oyster reefs. This project would be the first to increase oyster recruitment to a reef restoration project, a significant advance in ecological restoration.
Repairing recruitment processes with sound technology to accelerate habitat restoration. Williams et al. 2021, Ecological Applications.
Oyster larvae swim along gradients of sound. Williams et al. 2022, Journal of Applied Ecology.
In the media:
South Australia's 2021 Fresh Scientists:
Article written for the Conversation- Baby oysters follow the crackling sound of snapping shrimp:
Scientific American Article- Shrimp sounds could lure baby oysters to build new reefs:
Washington Post Article- Sounds of a healthy ocean can bring degraded marine ecosystems back to life:
Hakai Magazine Article- Using the sound of the sea to help rebuild ocean habitats:
Responsible Seafood Advocate Article- The sounds of settlement: Marine acoustics could revitalize ecosystems and enhance fisheries and aquaculture management:
NSW Oysters Newsletter Research Spotlight:
Blog for AusOcean- Restoring oyster reefs using highways of sound:
Radio 5AA 2021- Brittany Williams on the importance of oyster reefs with Matthew Pantelis:
Radio ABC 2022- Baby oysters follow the crackling sound of snapping shrimp with Christine Anu
Date Institution name Country Title 2019 - 2019 The University of Adelaide Australia Honours 2016 - 2018 The Australian National University Australia Bachelor Degree
Date Title Institution name Country 2023 Best Presentation Award International Temperate Reefs Symposium Australia 2023 Malacological Society of London Bursary Prize Malacological Society of London - 2021 South Australian Fresh Scientist for 2021 Science in Public - 2020 Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship Australian Government - 2019 The Michael Smyth Memorial Prize University of Adelaide Australia
Demonstrator for ENV BIOL 3520: Research Methods in Marine Biology III (2020, 2021, 2022)
Demonstrator for ENV BIOL 3510: Research Methods in Ecology III (2020, 2021, 2022)
Demonstrator for ENV BIOL 3540: Research Methods in Wildlife Conservation III (2020, 2021, 2022)
Demonstrator for ENV BIOL 3010: Marine Ecology III (2020, 2021)
Connect With Me