About

Originally from Mozambique, Kátya is an aquatic ecologist with experience working in rivers and estuaries of Australia, East Africa and the Pacific Islands. Her research is mostly related to the identification and quantification of impacts of different human activities (e.g. urbanization, deforestation, flow regulation, agriculture, introduction of exotic species) on the aquatic ecology. She also works on animal movement, particularly in questions related to migration patterns and habitat use of bony fish and sharks; to the identification of critical habitats for fisheries species so that the best habitats to protect, preserve or restore can be identified; and to the development of fisheries best practices.

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Publications

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Journal Articles
Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Cairns Airport Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Food Web Assessment of the Cairns Airport Waterways

Indicative Funding
$48,350 over 1 year
Summary
This project aims to assess the food web organisation of the waterways adjacent to the Cairns Airport, to identify the species most likely to be impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are toxic persistent pollutants that accumulate up the food chains and can be transferred to people that consume fish caught in contaminated waterways. The study will construct a model of food web functioning based on stable isotope analysis (producers, invertebrates and fish). By describing the food web, it will be possible to identify where the risk of PFAS exposure to people (through fish consumption) is present.
Investigators
Katya dos Santos Abrantes, Marcus Sheaves and Adam Barnett (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Food webs; Estuaries; Stable isotope analysis

SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation Inc - Research Grant

Determining population structure and connectivity of elephant fish stocks in southern Australia

Indicative Funding
$24,000 over 4 years
Summary
Elephant fish reproductive aggregations are targets of commercial and recreational fisheries. Although stock structure is unkown, Australian populations are currently treated as a single stock by management. A recent study revealed limited movement between different fishing zones (Tasmania and Bass Strait), suggesting limited connectivity between regionals. However, some individuals moved between zones, making it difficult to draw conclusions about broader stock structure and genetic connectivity. In addition, elephant fish may comprise >1 species, as there seems to be different morphologies between Australian and New Zealand fish. This project studies the genetic connectivity of elephant fish across thei8r range to identify the number of populations and possible cryptic speciation, and the mechanisms driving these patterns.
Investigators
Adam Barnett, Christine Dudgeon and Katya Abrantes (College of Science & Engineering and The University of Queensland)
Keywords
Stock Assessment; Genetics; Connectivity; Chimaeras; Fisheries; cryptic speciation

WV Scott Charitable Trust - Research Grant

Demographics and connectivity in elephant fish: obtaining key information to preserve a poorly understood species

Indicative Funding
$157,500 over 2 years
Summary
Elephantfish reproductive aggregations are targets of commercial and recreational fisheries. Although stock structure is unknown, Australian populations are currently treated as a single stock by management. A recent study revealed limited movement between different fishing zones (Tasmania and Bass Strait), suggesting limited connectivity between regions. However, some individuals moved between zones, making it difficult to draw conclusions about broader stock structure and genetic connectivity. In addition, elephantfish may comprise >1 species, as there seems to be different morphologies between Australian and New Zealand fish. This project studies the genetic connectivity of elephantfish across their range to identify the number of populations and possible cryptic speciation, and the mechanisms driving these patterns.
Investigators
Adam Barnett, Christine Dudgeon and Katya Abrantes (College of Science & Engineering and The University of Queensland)
Keywords
Stock Assessment; Connectivity; Fisheries; Genetics; Chimaeras; Cryptic Species

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Assessing the roles of batoids in coastal sandflats

Indicative Funding
$6,750 over 1 year
Summary
This project will develop and implement innovative data collection methods using drone technology to assess the roles of batoids in coastal sandflats. Specifically, we will be developing methods to map the locations of batoid feeding pits, calculate the volume of sediment turned over, and gain detailed behavioural observations. Results from this research will highlight the important roles batoids play in coastal sandflats and provide a useful tool for assessing the foraging impacts of batoids on sandflats that can be applied on a global scale. Additionally, we will determine if feeding pit counts can be used to estimate the abundance of batoids on a sandflat. If successful, this technique has broad application potential for monitoring batoid populations which will be vital for their conservation.
Investigators
Kevin Crook, Adam Barnett, Marcus Sheaves and Katya Abrantes (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Batoids; Foraging ecology; Bioturbation; Behaviour; Mapping; Drones
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Drivers of Migration and Habitat use of Marine Predators: Forecasting how Anthropogenic Disturbances might Destabilize Migration and Habitat use Patterns (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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