Three University of Adelaide students are conducting some of their research on oceanic ‘soundscapes’ in the Port River, near ECF’s trial native oyster reefs.
Brittany Williams is doing a PhD research at The University of Adelaide, while Rebekah O’Reilly and Andreas Reuter are undertaking Honours research. Their research aims to support reef restoration projects, boosting the restoration process through oceanic ‘soundscapes’.
Brittany and Rebekah are running experiments at native oyster restoration sites in SA, playing healthy reef sounds to recruiting native oyster spat to see if they are attracted to it and settle. If they do, then this means broadcasting such sounds at restoration sites could boost the settlement of spat.
It is also important to consider how spat may react to human-made noise like that from shipping. To explore this, Andreas is exposing spat to shipping noise recordings and examining their settlement responses to it.
For these projects, the students are playing sounds using affordable, opensource home-made underwater speakers designed by AusOcean. Essentially a speaker is electronics enclosed in PVC pipe, and the pipe is attached to a milk crate to keep it upright and secure while it’s located underwater.