Research will contribute data and information to the evaluation, improve our knowledge and understanding, and potentially offer new and improved techniques for monitoring. In addition, research will test assumptions that underpin the expected outcomes of the marine parks.  

The Marine Parks research prospectus, Forging the Links sets out research priorities under the three themes:

  • ecological systems: status and processes
  • communities: social, cultural and economic values and assets
  • management effectiveness 

The dominant theme in Forging the Links is the notion of creating strong inter-disciplinary links between themes, particularly communities and ecological systems themes. Understanding the connections between people and the natural world is important for the success of all of our marine parks.

Forging the Links invites people from universities, research organisations and communities to participate in marine parks research by providing incentives for collaboration. The research will, amongst things, improve the understanding of social and ecological processes and their responses to management. Research outcomes may also influence the evaluation of the effectiveness of marine park management plans and management decisions.  In addition, it may assist with identifying cost effective and feasible monitoring methods to improve the monitoring, evaluation and reporting program and the marine parks program overall.

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has been successful in partnering with local and national universities to conduct research in South Australia’s Marine Parks. 

Current research 2015-2016

Research into statistical methods applicable to Marine Parks Monitoring in South Australia


Dr Steve Delean, University of Adelaide, SA

Analysing the effectiveness of governance approaches in South Australia's marine parks


Rosemary De Vos, PhD candidate, University College London
Dr Peter J. Jones, Department of Geography, University College London
Dr Craig Styan, Faculty of Engineering Science, University College London (Adelaide Campus)

Assessing the social values of white shark cage-diving within the sanctuary zone of the Neptune Island group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park

PhD Thesis 2014-2017

Kirin Apps, PhD student, Southern Cross University, NSW
Dr Charlie Huveneers, Flinders University, SA

Description of fish assemblages in key Sanctuary Zones and other protected areas prior to zoning implementation in South Australia’s Marine Parks

PhD Thesis 2014-2017

Sasha Whitmarsh, PhD student, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University SA.
Dr Charlie Huveneers, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University SA.
Professor Peter Fairweather, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University SA.

Inventory of rock types, habitats and biota on rocky seashores in the SA marine parks network

PhD 2014-2017

Nathan Janetzki, Ph.D student, Biological Sciences, Flinders University SA
Professor Peter Fairweather, Biological Sciences, Flinders University SA
Associate Professor Kirsten Benkendorff, Southern Cross University, NSW

Completed Research

Improve knowledge of the key processes driving the ecological systems protected by marine parks such as larval recruitment of particular species within sanctuary zones.

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nov 2014

Jordan Jones, Honours student, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Adelaide University
Associate Professor Ivan Nagelkerken (Fellow), School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Adelaide University

Related links