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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.

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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 27+ research outputs authored by Dr Vanessa Messmer from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

Microhabitat preferences and post-settlement demography for juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS)

Indicative Funding
$35,717
Summary
We will document fine-scale (within reef) variation in the abundance of juvenile (0+ year old) CoTS and relate patterns of abundance to specific features of the local habitat (e.g., depth and aspect) and micro-habitat (eg., cover of different coralline algae and corals) to further refine where to find newly settled CoTS. In areas with high settlement of CoTS, we will also quantify early post-settlement growth and mortality for a single cohort of CoTS, by measuring the local abundance and size structure of juvenile CoTS at selected locations through the course of 1 year.
Investigators
Morgan Pratchett, Jennifer Wilmes, Andrew Hoey and Vanessa Messmer (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Acanthaster; Demography; Settlement; Disturbance; Coral Reefs

Fisheries Research & Development Corporation - Annual Competitive Round

Establishing baselines and assessing vulnerability of commercially harvested corals across northern Australia

Indicative Funding
$260,000 over 3 years (administered by Department of Fisheries (WA))
Summary
This project is critically important to provide necessary data on the distribution, abundance and biology of commonly harvested corals across northern Australia, both to ensure that current harvest levels and practices are sustainable and address legislative requirements for harvesting and exporting species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Investigators
Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer in collaboration with Stephen Newman (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and WA Department of Fisheries)
Keywords
Corals; aquarium fishery; Stock Assessment; Population Structure; Vulnerability

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

Settlement collectors as an early warning system for outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish

Indicative Funding
$25,000
Summary
The purpose of this project is to quantify patterns of larval settlement using purpose-built settlement collectors. If effective, this will provide an early warning system to forewarn of new or continued outbreaks up to 18 months before increased densities of Acanthaser sp. Are typically detected within reef habitats. This research will not only help to target current control efforts but help to establish when and where COTS actually settle (ie preferred settlement habitats) which will facilitate improved predictions about the distribution and spread of starfish across the Great Barrier Reef.
Investigators
Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Acanthaster; Crown-of-Thorns Starfish; Settlement; Disturbance; Management; Genetics

Department of the Environment and Energy - Director of National Parks - Contract Research

Updated review of research and monitoring in Australia's Commonwealth Marine Reserves relating to natural values

Indicative Funding
$40,821 over 2 years
Summary
Review and summarise all information (including scientific literature, technical reports and other relevant outputs of scientific research and monitoring) relevant to Australia?s Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMRs). Relevance to CMRs will be assessed on the basis of geographic overlapping with CMR boundaries and adjacent areas and relevance (eg connectivity) to the CMRs'values, including any literature that links uses or pressures to natural values. All information will be incorporated into an updated CMR research database for the Australian Director of National Parks.
Investigators
Andrew Hoey, Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Commonwealth Marine Reserves; Tropical Reef; Temperate Reef; Resource Management; Ecosystem Health

Australian Museum - Crown-of-Thorns Starfish research grants

The role of predation in controlling crown-of-thorns starfish: do overfishing and biodiversity loss exacerbate outbreaks?

Indicative Funding
$13,300
Summary
Predator removal was one of the earliest hypotheses put forward to explain outbreaks of Acanthaster planci (crown-of-thorns starfish), but observations of predation events remain sparse. As a result, very little is known about the role of predation in maintaining A. planci populations below outbreak levels. Limited evidence suggests that outbreaks are more frequent on reefs subject to fishing compared to protected reefs, suggesting that predation may play an important role. This project will estimate predation rates during different life history stages based on experiments and field observations and assess how predation varies between reef zones and different levels of protection.
Investigators
Vanessa Messmer in collaboration with Morgan Pratchett and Zara-Louise Cowan (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Keywords
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish; Predation; population outbreaks; over-fishing; Coral Reef; Control

Department of the Environment and Energy - Caring for our Country - Reef Rescue Contract

Initiation and Spread of Outbreaks of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef

Indicative Funding
$400,000 over 3 years
Summary
This study will undertake intensive sampling of outbreak populations of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanathaster planci) within the region from Cairns to Cooktown (where there is a currently active outbreak) in an attempt to establish when and where outbreaks were initiated, moreover, a novel set of genetic markers will be developed and used to explore spatial and temporal dynamics in the initiation and spread of outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish within the Great Barrier Reef.
Investigators
Morgan Pratchett and Vanessa Messmer in collaboration with Michael Berumen, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo and Hugo Harrison (ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
Keywords
Coral Reefs; Crown-of-Thorns Starfish; Outbreaks; Disturbance; Genetics; Connectivity
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
  • Reconstructing and Forecasting Outbreaks of Crown-of-thorn starfish (A. planci) on the Great Barrier Reef (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Spatial Variation in the Density and Demography of Newly Settled Crown-of-thorns Starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris). (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Completed
Data

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.

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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