Wildlife Conservation

An important goal for marine ecologists is to decipher the ecological factors that influence organisms’ abundance, diversity, social behavior, all of which are underpinned by feeding behavior. Operating in such complex environments, species require particularly sophisticated foraging strategies that could enable them to survive and thrive. However, our knowledge on their food requirements, food selection and nutrition is limited.

Our understanding of organisms’ nutrition plays a pivotal role in their conservation and management and yet remains poorly characterized at different scales.

These multidisciplinary projects aim to understand the nutrient requirements, niche breath and foraging goals of endangered organisms as a tool to predict how they will respond to marine pollution, anthropogenic pressures and environmental changes. Projects in this theme include primates,  green turtles (Chelonia mydas), franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei) from South America and great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in NSW coastal waters (Australia).

Selected publications

Grainger R, Peddemors VM, Raubenheimer D, Machovsky-Capuska GE (2020). Diet Composition and Nutritional Niche Breadth Variability in Juvenile White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias).  Frontiers in Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00422. (IF 3.0)

Denuncio P, Paso Viola MN, Machovsky-Capuska GE, Raubenheimer D, Gerpe MS, Rodriguez D (2017). Population variance in prey, diets and their macronutrient composition in an endangered marine predator, the Franciscana dolphin. Journal of Sea Research, 129:70-79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2017.05.008 . (IF 2.0) [pdf]

Machovsky-Capuska GE, Senior AM, Simpson SJ, Raubenheimer D (2016). The Multi-dimensional Nutritional Niche. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31:355-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.009. (IF 18.3) [pdf]