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Seaweek 2011: Spotlight on Marine Science

Marine Scientist Profile:

1. Name: Randall Lee

2. Organisation / Company: EPA Victoria

3. Title of your Two bays Project: Autonamous Underway Water Quality sampling

4. How long have you been working with Two Bays? Since Jan 2007

5. Qualifications/ job title PhD Oceanography/Senior Marine Scientist

6. As a marine Scientist, why is the Two Bays project so important?Good place to pilot studies, and talk with stakeholders.

7. What is the “wow factor” that you would use to enthuse a young person about your chosen profession? “Do you like the ocean but are frightened of sharks....well that's OK as an oceanographer you develop gadgets that go and explore the ocean while you stay warm and dry on deck”.

8.What is the “wow factor” that you would use to enthuse a young person about ‘Victoria’s Marine Environment’ Yes there are big sharks in Victoria, so you really need to rely on gadgets to do your science and survive.

9. What led you to a career in marine Science? A friend was doing marine biology in Nth Queensland and it seemed a better option to living at home and doing a degree in engineering.

10. Is there an interesting story that you can share that convinced you to study marine science?
With the demise of marineland at west beach in Adelaide, South australia, there was a need to recolonise the domesticated dolphins. With the advent of shark tracking, an increase in attacks and the need to popularise the shark tracking program to attract ongoing funding...there seemed a good opportunity to train the dolphins to chase the sharks and keep local bathers safe. Unfortuntely this vision has yet to be realised.

More recently, Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka were able to sneak into a naval base and torpedo a ship, by disguishing their pedel powered submarine as a fish. Oceanographers discovered that the Navy’s acoustic surveilence network with a range of 600m or more was significantly reduced by increased acoustic noise from active upwelling processes. This had allowed the Tiger’s sub to sneak through the acoustic array. This was subsequently augmented and further attacks were arrested before any explosives could e deployed.



11. What is the greatest threat to Victoria’s marine environment?
Climate Change is the all encompassing threat to marine systems as we know them in Victoria, so it is our job to minimise the anthropogenic impacts in the regions that are most vulnerable to climate change impact. Well integrated science and good communication are needed to ensure these impacts are well mapped and understood to decision makers.

12. What is the most important thing we should do to protect our marine environments? Ensuring biodiversity through well managed and effectively connected marine parks network.

13. When you grow up, what do you want to be? At 46 I have mostly grown up!



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