About

I completed a Bachelor of Science and gained an Honours degree in the field of Marine Biology and Zoology at James Cook University in 2003. I have since been conducting research on tropical marine habitats focussing on seagrass and benthic invertebrate communities most at risk from anthropogenic activities associated with coastal development. I have specifically been interested in relationships between seagrass and environmental factors, and implementing science based solutions to the management of these important marine habitats. In my current role as a senior member and project leader/manager of the team I am responsible for numerous state-wide seagrass habitat research, assessment and monitoring programs.

Research and monitoring programs that I am project leader and manager for include:

  • Port of Abbot Point Research and Monitoring Program 2008 - ongoing
  • Development of light thresholds for modelling impacts to seagrass from the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project 2015
  • Ports North long-term seagrass monitoring and research programs in the ports of Karumba, Cairns & Mourilyan Harbour 2009 - ongoing
  • Ports North: Cairns Shipping Development project 2012 - ongoing
  • Port of Weipa long-term seagrass monitoring and research program 2009 - ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interests
Research
  • Seagrass assessment & monitoring in Queensland Ports– industry partnerships in high risk areas (various Port Authorities)
  • Investigating the drivers of tropical seagrass change
  • Investigating and establishing methods of recovery and resilience of deepwater and shallow water seagrasses
  • Developing seagrass light thresholds for implementation into models and environmental impact assessments
Teaching
  • Indigenous community engagement and training in the Torres Strait
  • Guest lecturing
Experience
  • 2005 to 2012 - Project manager, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Cairns)
  • 2003 to 2005 - Fisheries Technician, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Cairns)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Memberships
  • 2003 to 2015 - Member of the Golden Key International Honours Society. Membership into Golden Key is by invitation only to the top 15% of college/university students in all fields of study, based solely on the criteria of their academic achievements.
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers
Other research outputs
More

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 78+ research outputs authored by Ms Skye McKenna from 2004 onwards.

Current Funding

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

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

NQBP & JCU Research & Monitoring Partnership - Seagrass and Coral Studies

Indicative Funding
$1,319,033 over 4 years
Summary
This project conducts long term assessments of seagrass and coral in the Ports of Mackay, Hay Point, Weipa and Abbot Point. The work forms part of a research and monitoring partnership between JCU and NQBP to monitor and assess marine environmental health within ports as well as support related research and education opportunities.
Investigators
Michael Rasheed, Skye McKenna, Tony Ayling and Alexandra Carter (TropWATER and Sea Research)
Keywords
Seagrass; Monitoring; Risk Assessment; Coral; Research

Ports North - Contract Research

Ports North Seagrass Monitoring Program

Indicative Funding
$537,953 over 4 years
Summary
The aim of this research is to monitor seagrass habitats in areas around Mourilyan, Karumba, Cairns and Thursday Island. The objectives include comparing results of previous monitoring and base line surveys and assessing any changes in seagrass distribution and abundance in relation to natural events or human induced activities, and establishing the capacity for recovery of key seagrass meadow types. Relationships between seagrass and environmental parameters, and the drivers of seagrass change will also be investigated.
Investigators
Michael Rasheed and Skye McKenna (TropWATER)
Keywords
Seagrass; Monitoring & Management; Dugong; Fish Habitats; Great Barrier Reef; Torres Strait

Port of Townsville Ltd - Contract Research

Port of Townsville Seagrass Program

Indicative Funding
$270,001 over 4 years
Summary
This project continues the established annual seagrass monitoring program to monitor the health of seagrass meadows, assess intra-annual changes, and provide an overall assessment of the marine environmental health of Cleveland Bay and the Port of Townsville.
Investigators
Michael Rasheed and Skye McKenna (TropWATER)
Keywords
Seagrass; Environmental Monitoring; Marine Monitoring; Dugong; Great Barrier Reef

QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland Women's Academic Fund

McKenna Maternity Funding for Research Assistant

Indicative Funding
$23,000 over 2 years
Summary
Maternity funding to employ a research assistant to assist Senior Researcher whilst on maternity leave to maintain research progress.
Investigators
Skye McKenna and Michael Rasheed (TropWATER)
Keywords
Seagrass Research

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

Weipa quarterly seagrass monitoring and PAR deployment

Indicative Funding
$23,814
Summary
The aim of this research is to intensely monitor seagrass habitats in the immediate areas around the port infrastructure in the Port of Weipa pre- and post- maintenance dredging. The objectives include comparing results of previous monitoring and baseline surveys and assessing any changes in seagrass distribution and abundance in relation to natural events or human induced activities. In addition, light and temperature shall be recorded and monitored within the seagrass canopy.
Investigators
Skye McKenna and Michael Rasheed (TropWATER)
Keywords
Dredging; Port Development; Environmental Monitoring; Marine Habitats; seagrass

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

Hay Point Seagrass Assessment & Monitoring

Indicative Funding
$293,954 over 3 years
Summary
This project was developed to re-establish the seagrass long term monitoring program for Hay Point and add additional monitoring in the Keswick Island area. The project will conduct a baseline survey of the two areas in 2014 and establish an annual monitoring program in 2015 & 2016 from this baseline and historical monitoring. The seagrass monitoring will complement the newly established ambient water quality monitoring for the port.
Investigators
Michael Rasheed and Skye McKenna (TropWATER)
Keywords
Seagrass; Mackay; Condition & Trend; Monitoring; Environmental Management; Ports
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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