Museum Revealed Podcast [Ep 22]: Climate change impacts on marine invertebrates with Dr Sue-Ann Watson

Imagine you’re a scientist, diving into the freezing cold waters of the Antarctic. You’re not there to observe the larger organisms so closely associated with that part of the world – whales, seals and impossibly cute penguins – but the smallest: the marine invertebrates. What is it about these lesser-known creatures, the ones we rarely think of, that would entice you into those icy waters? What are the impacts of climate change on these ocean creatures? Have you ever heard of ocean acidification?

Dr Sue-Ann Watson, Senior Curator of Marine Invertebrates at Queensland Museum Network and senior research fellow at James Cook University, joins us to chat about her fascinating work.  

Listen now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Let’s meet our guest: Dr Sue-Ann Watson

Sue-Ann works on a range of marine invertebrates (animals without backbones) including molluscs (e.g. snails, clams, cephalopods), echinoderms (e.g. sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea stars), crustaceans (e.g. hermit crabs) and brachiopods. Some of her favourite study species – jumping snails, giant clams and pygmy squid – are all found here in North Queensland.

Her research focuses on the responses of marine organisms to change, both in space (along natural evolutionary gradients) and time (responses to environmental change). She is particularly interested in large scale evolutionary patterns and ecological trends in marine invertebrates and the effects of stressors such as ocean acidification, warming and water quality impacts including light availability (turbidity), nutrients and salinity on invertebrates, corals and fishes. Sue-Ann’s broad research interests include ecology, physiology, behaviour, biogeography and the potential for acclimation and adaptation to change in marine organisms.

Interested in learning more?

Never miss a podcast episode

Did you enjoy listening to this episode of Museum Revealed? Follow Queensland Museum on social media at @qldmuseum and sign up to our eNews list to be the first to know what’s happening at the museum. Until next time, stay curious!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s