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Samantha Aird

An Archaeozoological Approach to Characterising the Impacts of Long-Term Shellfish and Fin-Fish Resource Use on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

College: Arts, Society and EducationAird_S

TESS role: PhD student

Location: Cairns, D3:141

Phone number: +61-7-4232-1206

Email: samantha.aird@my.jcu.edu.au

Supervisor(s): Professor Sean Ulm (JCU), Dr Christian Reepmeyer (JCU), Professor Ian McNiven (Monash), Associate Professor Mike Rowland (JCU), Dr Brit Asmussen (Queensland Museum), Professor Bryce Barker (USQ)

Biography

Sam graduated from James Cook University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Archaeology. Her honours thesis investigated human predation on Conomurex luhuanus (Strawberry Conch) and Tectus niloticus (Trochus) in mid-to-late Holocene archaeological shell midden assemblages from Lizard Island. Her PhD research builds on work conducted during her Honours project extending across four offshore island groups down the length of the Great Barrier Reef. Sam also collaborates as a research assistant analysing archaeo-faunal midden assemblages from Papua New Guinea and the Wellesley Islands (Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia).

Research ProjectAird_S2

An Archaeozoological Approach to Characterising the Impacts of Long-Term Shellfish and Fin-Fish Resource Use on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Shellfish and fin-fish have been core resource components for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people along the length of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) for millenia. However, the resilience of these resources to Indigenous predation is unknown. This research uses archaeozoological methods to assess human predation on key shellfish and fin-fish species from the GBR, Australia, across the Holocene. Four key archaeological site complexes located in the northern, central and southern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) present ideal case study locations: the Lizard Island Group, the Whitsunday Island Group, the Keppel Island Group, and the Shoalwater Bay Island Group. Archaeological predation studies on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander subsistence harvested and/or hunted during the Holocene in the GBR has received surprisingly little attention given the focus on establishing pre-European baselines for GBR fisheries management. Fin-fish have not been targeted for detailed archaeological studies within the contemporary GBRMP boundary, and only two limited studies have been attempted on three shellfish species in the past. The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan aims to protect marine species from anthropogenic pressures including commercial and recreational fishing, climate change and land-based run off. Issues raised in The Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan has led to intensified conservation efforts for marine species. This study will directly support these efforts by providing, for the first time, a long-term record exploring the use, vulnerability and sustainability of GBR fisheries, focused on shellfish and fin-fish.

Personal Interests

I love the experience of being remote in the outdoors with a good bunch of people. Camping, multi-day hiking trips, yoga, good food, paddling outrigger canoes, snorkelling and diving just about sums it up!

Aird_S3

Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

Twitter (@TESSJCU)