Matthew McMillan

Dr Matthew McMillan

Postdoctoral Researcher

Health and Medical Sciences Faculty Office

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

My research has focused on shark ecology and movements. I am currently assessing pupping habitats and natal origins of a Conservation Dependent shark (Galeorhinus galeus) using a variety of approaches including satellite tagging, underwater video surveying (BRUVs), vertebral chemistry analysis and bioenergetic analyses.

For my honours project I collaborated with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research to examine elemental signatures in vertebrae of the deep-sea lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, a Near Threatened species in Norwegian and French waters, to assess stock structure where conventional tagging is unsuitable due to the depths involved. 

My current doctoral research seeks to integrate various approaches to assess pupping habitats and natal origins in the Conservation Dependent school shark, Galeorhinus galeus. This species was overfished to <14% of pre-fishing levels in Australia by the 1990s leading to stock collapse from which they have not recovered, despite no longer being targeted commercially.

A Commonwealth stock rebuilding strategy was implemented highlighting an important knowledge gap around whether or not pupping occurs in South Australia (SA). This study will employ the following techniques to try to fill this gap:

  • Satellite tagging of pregnant females to track movements during pupping seasons,
  • Scientific surveying of potential pupping sites employing both non-extractive (Baited Remote Underwater Video) and extractive (longline) methods,
  • Vertebral chemistry analysis to investigate natal origins of sharks from SA, and
  • Bioenergetic analysis of pups to investigate how metabolic constraints govern dispersal from nursery areas.


Competitive Research Grants

Total: $52,820


  • Sea World Marine Vertebrates Grant, SWRRFI $20,700


  • Sea World Marine Vertebrates Grant, SWRRFI $20,120    
  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Equity Trustees $6,000 


  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Equity Trustees $6,000   



2015 - Pres.

  • Frederick James Sandoz PhD Scholarship, Sandoz Family 
  • Australian Postgraduate Award PhD Scholarship, University of Adelaide 


  • Playford Trust Honours Scholarship for Science, Playford Memorial Trust 


  • Summer Research Scholarship, Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories 


  • Teaching assistant, Foundations in Marine Biology III
  • Teaching assistant, Zoology II


  • Teaching assistant, Foundations in Marine Biology III
  • Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Phone: 83136067
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Darling, floor 1
  • Room: 1 23
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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