Charlotte Aston

Optimising the long-term monitoring of fish biodiversity within no-take zones across State and Commonwealth managed Marine Parks

A shared objective of Australia’s State and Commonwealth Marine Parks (MPs) is ensuring the protection, conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural values. To effectively manage MPs and ensure they meet their objectives, long-term biodiversity monitoring is required, with No-take zones (NTZ) within MPs being essential for understanding and therefore monitoring fish biodiversity. For monitoring to be effective the sampling design used must be representative of the habitats and fish species present, as well as frequent enough to detect change. We must also have accurate and precise methods for estimating fish populations metrics across the whole area (e.g. population size, biomass, average length) with different methods requiring different data. My research aims to compare design and model-based estimates of population metrics using data collected from the Commonwealth Ningaloo Marine Park. An optimal sampling design will also be created including the spatial arrangement of the sampling sites and the frequency of resampling. This research will be the first to compare design- and model-based estimates of fish population metrics within the context of a marine park. By furthering knowledge about both sampling designs and methods of population estimates we hope this study will assist in monitoring efforts and the generation of data that can be used to inform effective management of recreational fishing in the Ningaloo MPs.

About Me

Originally from London, born to Swedish and English parents, spending time in the ocean was something I only really got to do on holiday. After coming to UWA in 2017 intending only to stay for my year abroad, I fell in love with marine environment and I transferred university. I graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology in 2018 and am very keen to carry on learning about the unique marine life in Western Australia through my Masters degree.


Dr. Tim Langlois, Dr. Renae Hovey and Dr. Jacquomo Monk


Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre
School of Biological Sciences (M470)
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009</p>