Rebecca Morris

Rebecca Morris
University of Melbourne | MSD · National Centre for Coasts and Climate

PhD Marine Ecology

About

46
Publications
21,292
Reads
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1,552
Citations
Citations since 2016
44 Research Items
1541 Citations
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Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
The success of oyster reef restoration can be enhanced by data on the distribution of remnant populations to inform the selection of suitable restoration locations. A quantitative polymerase chain reaction‐based environmental DNA (eDNA) assay was designed to provide distribution data for the oyster, Ostrea angasi, whose reefs are functionally extin...
Technical Report
Full-text available
1) Large scale and coordinated restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems will benefit our natural assets and improve our capability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while also generating jobs and providing communities with economic and social benefits. 2) Scaling up restoration requires a national scale science-based plan adopted at stat...
Article
Atoll societies have adapted their environments and social systems for thousands of years, but the rapid pace of climate change may bring conditions that exceed their adaptive capacities. There is growing interest in the use of ‘nature-based solutions' to facilitate the continuation of dignified and meaningful lives on atolls through a changing cli...
Article
Coastal flooding and erosion cause significant social and economic impacts, globally. There is a growing interest in using natural habitats such as mangroves to defend coastlines. The protective services of mangroves, however, have not been assessed in the same rigorous engineering and socio-economic terms as rock revetments, and therefore are ofte...
Article
The terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms all provide essential ecosystem services in urban environments. However, the services provided by each realm are often considered independently, which ignores the synergies between them and risks underestimating the benefits derived collectively. Greater research collaboration across these realms, and a...
Article
Coastal areas are especially vulnerable to habitat loss, sea-level rise, and other climate change effects. Oyster-dominated eco-engineered reefs have been promoted as integral components of engineered habitats enhancing coastal resilience through provision of numerous ecological, morphological, and socio-economic services. However, the assessed ‘su...
Article
There is growing demand for novel coastal protection approaches that also provide co-benefits such as enhanced biodiversity. Rock-fillets, which are used to stabilise eroding banks in estuaries, can be colonised by mangroves, and may provide habitat for estuarine fauna. However, it is unknown whether hybrid mangrove/rock-fillet habitats are functio...
Article
Kelp beds are a defining feature of temperate reefs worldwide, playing a fundamental role as ecosystem engineers and primary producers. Overgrazing by the native sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma has driven a phase shift from kelp beds of Ecklonia radiata to barrens across much of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. Here we present the results of a tra...
Article
Natural coastlines are being replaced by artificial structures (pilings, pontoons, breakwaters), with negative environmental impacts, particularly in marinas. Ropes seeded with mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were added to artificial structures in a marina, using aquaculture techniques, to reduce the colonisation of invasive taxa. After 6-month...
Article
Kelps are ecosystem engineers, which collectively form forests that provide a variety of important ecosystem services for humans and other organisms. Kelp forests are threatened by multiple local and global stressors, one of the most notable is herbivory. Overabundant sea; urchins can consume kelp, leading to a phase shift from productive forests t...
Article
One of the paramount goals of oyster reef living shorelines is to achieve sustained and adaptive coastal protection, which requires meeting ecological (i.e., develop a self‐sustaining oyster population) and engineering (i.e., provide coastal defense) targets. In a large‐scale comparison along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, the e...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Nature-based methods use the creation or restoration of coastal habitats for hazard risk reduction. This can be done through restoring the habitat alone (“soft” approach), or in combination with hard structures that support habitat establishment (“hybrid” approaches). The need to develop, test and apply more sustainable techniques to mitigate the i...
Article
Restoration of kelp forests typically relies on transplanting sporophylls to new locations and has limited application in regions with low remnant kelp cover. Cultivated kelp requires fewer sporophylls and is a potential alternative and sustainable source of transplants for large‐scale restoration projects. Naturally sourced fertile sporophylls, ho...
Article
Humans are altering marine ecosystems at unprecedented rates, and these changes can result in animals selecting poor‐quality habitats if the cues they use become misleading. Such “ecological traps” increase extinction risk, reduce ecosystem resilience, and are a consequence of human‐induced rapid environmental change. Although there is growing evid...
Article
Full-text available
The sprawl of marine construction is one of the most extreme human modifications to global seascapes. Nevertheless, its global extent remains largely unquantified compared to that on land. We synthesized disparate information from a diversity of sources to provide a global assessment of the extent of existing and projected marine construction and i...
Article
Full-text available
In England about 5 million properties are at risk of flooding. Socio-economic growth, rising sea levels and extreme weather will exacerbate this issue in the next 100 years. Building coastal resilience is vital worldwide to save people from the impact of flooding and the costs of damage and insurance. In Australia the use of mussel reefs and mangro...
Article
• Habitat degradation and destruction arising from rapidly increasing urbanization represents one of the most significant threats to biodiversity. Human populations are continuing to increase around coastal regions, and as marine habitats are displaced by artificial structures it is important to understand how marine species may be impacted by thes...
Article
There is increasing interest in mitigating the loss of kelp forests through restoration, but this has received scant attention relative to other coastal habitats. We evaluate current knowledge centered on key restoration principles to provide guidelines for best practice in kelp restoration. The cause and scale of degradation is fundamental in dete...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of artificial structures, such as seawalls, is increasing globally, resulting in loss of habitat complexity and native species biodiversity. There is increasing interest in mitigating this biodiversity loss by adding topographic habitat to these structures, and/or seeding them with habitat-forming species. Settlement tile experimen...
Article
Traditional coastal protection methods that rely on built, hard structures like seawalls may not be effective to keep pace with a changing climate. Nature-based coastal defences based on habitat restoration can be an adaptive coastal protection alternative.
Article
The endangered seahorse Hippocampus whitei has declined in abundance as a result of natural habitat loss, and inhabits copper-braided protective swimming nets in Sydney Harbour, Australia. This study tested whether the use of copper-free seahorse-friendly net material has any effect on populations of H. whitei. The effects of net material on seahor...
Article
The provision of temporary, specially designed artificial habitat may help support populations of the Endangered Whites’ seahorse Hippocampus whitei in the face of rapid coastal urbanisation and declining natural habitats. Three designs of artificial habitat (Seahorse Hotels) were installed in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia, where natura...
Article
Australia’s rapid coastal population growth coupled with the increased risk of hazards driven by climate change creates an urgent need to start adaptation planning for the future. The most common solutions for protecting the coast (seawalls, breakwaters) are expensive and non-adaptive (i.e., they need to be rebuilt, upgraded and maintained in respo...
Article
Background and aims: Coastal protection from erosion and flooding is a significant ecosystem service provided by vegetated marine systems. Kelp beds are a dominant habitat-forming species on temperate reefs worldwide. While they are valued as hotspots of biodiversity, there is a paucity of information that supports their use in nature-based coasta...
Article
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Article
To explore whether the endangered White's seahorse Hippocampus whitei would choose to inhabit artificial over natural habitats, ten adult H. whitei individuals were put through a series of binary choice trials in aquaria, during which they were offered different paired combinations of natural (different types of macroalga and seagrass) and artifici...
Article
Full-text available
Oyster reef living shorelines have been proposed as an effective alternative to traditional coastal defence structures (e.g., bulkheads, breakwaters), with the benefit that they may keep pace with sea‐level rise and provide co‐benefits, such as habitat provision. However, there remains uncertainty about the effectiveness of shoreline protection pro...
Article
Marine harbours are the focus of a diverse range of activities and subject to multiple anthropogenically induced pressures. Support for environmental management options aimed at improving degraded harbours depends on understanding the factors which influence people's perceptions of harbour environments. We used an online survey, across 12 harbours,...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological engineering principles are increasingly being applied to develop multifunctional artificial structures or rehabilitated habitats in coastal areas. Ecological engineering initiatives are primarily driven by marine scientists and coastal managers, but often the views of key user groups, which can strongly influence the success of projects,...
Article
The field of eco-engineering has burgeoned in recent years in response to the proliferation of artificial structures. Adding water-retaining features to seawalls has been successful in increasing biodiversity relative to the surrounding structure. Artificial rock pools may not, however, completely mimic natural rock pools. Here, we compared natural...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation and population growth continue to impact already pressured harbour environments, resulting in a proliferation of artificial structures in the marine environment. In response, there is a growing interest in ecological engineering these structures for the benefit of both nature and humankind. Since the decision to build or adapt coastal...
Article
Full-text available
Infrastructure is increasingly being built in marine habitats, with extensive ecological consequences for benthic and fish assemblages alike. The practice of ecological engineering attempts to mitigate the negative impacts of infrastructure through the design of artificial structures that benefit both humans and nature. Although research has primar...
Article
Climate change is increasing the threat of erosion and flooding along coastlines globally. Engineering solutions (e.g. seawalls and breakwaters) in response to protecting coastal communities and associated infrastructure are increasingly becoming economically and ecologically unsustainable. This has led to recommendations to create or restore natur...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of artificial structures in the marine environment is increasing globally. Eco-engineering aims to mitigate the negative ecological impacts of built infrastructure through designing structures to be multifunctional, benefiting both humans and nature. To date, the focus of eco-engineering has largely been on benefits for benthic inv...
Article
Full-text available
Along urbanised coastlines, urban infrastructure is increasingly becoming the dominant habitat. These structures are often poor surrogates for natural habitats, and a diversity of eco-engineering approaches have been trialled to enhance their biodiversity, with varying success. We undertook a quantitative meta-analysis and qualitative review of 109...
Article
The expansion of built infrastructure in the marine environment threatens natural ecological communities at local and regional scales. An increasing interest in incorporating heterogeneity that is reflective of natural rocky shores into artificial structures through ecological engineering seeks to mitigate negative impacts. The addition of complex...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, urbanised coastlines are being armoured by shoreline protection structures, such as seawalls. Seawalls typically lack the complex microhabitats and protective spaces of natural shorelines and consequently organisms that settle on them may be particularly susceptible to predation. We tested whether the addition of complex microhabitats...
Article
Full-text available
The growing number of artificial structures in estuarine, coastal and marine environments is causing “ocean sprawl”. Artificial structures do not only modify marine and coastal ecosystems at the sites of their placement, but may also produce larger-scale impacts through their alteration of ecological connectivity - the movement of organisms, materi...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive development and construction in marine and coastal systems is driving a phenomenon known as “ocean sprawl”. Ocean sprawl removes or transforms marine habitats through the addition of artificial structures and some of the most significant impacts are occurring in sedimentary environments. Marine sediments have substantial social, ecologica...
Article
Full-text available
Loss of marine habitats due to urbanisation has been met with growing research efforts to mitigate ecological impacts through eco-engineering. Research in this area has focused on scientific and engineering outcomes, not considering that seawalls are a socially-driven insertion into the environment. Further, management concerns when employing eco-e...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Australia’s coastal zone is suffering the collateral damage from continuing urban development and construction, expanding resource sectors, increasing population, regulation to river flow, and on-going land change and degradation. The global community is already watching Australia manage future development and industrial growth, particularly adjace...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Understanding the role of natural, eco-engineered and restored habitats in responding to and mitigating climatic stressors and enhancing biodiversity.
Project
Community Of Inquiry exploring designing online learning
Project
http://www.worldharbourproject.org/