Research Scientist within the Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia Program.
During my PhD on sponge ecology and aquaculture, obtained in 2000 from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, I worked at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research doing biodiversity surveys of marine protected areas and bio-prospecting to discover new drug compounds. Afterwards, I spent 3 years doing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, USA, determining the feeding requirements of sessile marine invertebrates for drug production. In 2004, I started a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship at AIMS focused on sponge conservation and ecology leading to the creation of a bath sponge aquaculture industry for remote coastal communities. In 2008, I started a research scientist position at Blue Ocean Institute, USA, examining the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems and investigating the environmental sustainability of wild-caught and farm-raised seafood. I returned to Australia in 2012 to take up my present position at AIMS.

2000: PhD (Zoology). University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Current Research Activities
My main research interest is investigating the human impacts on coastal marine ecosystems, with my current research focused on determining the effects of dredging pressures on corals and sponges.
Over 40 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Stubler AD, Duckworth AR, Peterson BJ (2015) The effects of coastal development on sponge abundance, diversity, and community composition on Jamaican coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin 96(1-2): 261-270

Duckworth AR (2015) Substrate type affects the abundance and size of a coral-reef sponge between depths. Marine and Freshwater Research (Online May15)

Duckworth AR and Peterson BJ (2013) Effects of seawater temperature and pH on the boring rates of the sponge Cliona celata in scallop shells. Marine Biology. 160: 27-35.

Duckworth AR, West L, Vansach T, Stubler A and Hardt M (2012) Effects of water temperature and pH on growth and metabolite biosynthesis of coral reef sponges. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 462: 67-77.

Duckworth AR and Wolff CWW (2011) Population dynamics and growth of two coral reef sponges on rock and rubble substrates. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 402: 49-55.

Luter H and Duckworth AR (2010) Influence of size and spatial competition on the bioactivity of coral reef sponges. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 38: 146-153.

Duckworth AR, Wolff CWW and Luter H (2009) Patterns of abundance and size across varying spatial scales for the coral reef sponge Coscinoderma matthewsi. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 396: 27-33.

Duckworth AR, Wolff CWW, Evans-Illidge EA, Whalan S and Lui S (2008) Spatial variability in community structure of Dictyoceratida sponges across Torres Strait, Australia. Continental Shelf Research. 28: 2168-2173.

Duckworth AR and Wolff CWW (2007) Patterns of abundance and size of Dictyoceratid sponges among neighbouring islands in central Torres Strait, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research. 58: 204-212.

Duckworth AR and Wolff CWW (2007) Bath sponge aquaculture in Torres Strait, Australia: effect of explant size, farming method and the environment on culture success. Aquaculture. 271: 188-195.

Duckworth AR and Pomponi SA (2005) Relative importance of bacteria, microalgae and yeast for growth of the sponge Halichondria melanadocia (de Laubenfels, 1936): a laboratory study. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 323: 151-159.

Duckworth AR and Battershill CN (2003) Sponge aquaculture for the production of biologically active metabolites: the influence of farming protocols and environment. Aquaculture. 221: 311-329

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