Our Team


Bluebottle research on Sydney beaches

Dr Amandine Schaeffer is leading the project from Sydney, where she is a senior lecturer at UNSW Maths and Stats. She is an expert in physical oceanography and started putting the project and the team together after many near-miss encounters with bluebottles during ocean swims.

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Dr Jaz Lawes is the lead researcher at Surf Life Saving Australia. With a background in marine invertebrates and impact ecology, Jaz is a multidisciplinary researcher and passionate science communicator, committed to better understanding how humans’ interact with the environment. Jaz has over 10 years’ experience spanning university and industry sectors and is responsible for a diverse portfolio of multidisciplinary coastal safety research projects. Jaz is a lover of animals, the coast, and understanding how things interconnect. In this project Jaz will be the lead industry partner and assist with data collection, student supervision and anything on the beach!

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Dr Moninya Roughan is a Professor of Oceanography at UNSW. She specialises in coastal ocean dynamics focussing on ocean warming in western boundary currents such as the East Australian current, marine heatwaves and Lagrangian larval connectivity and cross shelf transport processes. In this project she leads the field work component to understand surface currents. Additionally, she co-supervisors Daniel Lee in his Lagrangian approach to understanding bluebottle transport pathways.

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Professor Kylie Pitt is a marine ecologist at Griffith University.  Much of Kylie’s current research focuses on solving problematic interactions between jellyfishes and coastal communities and industries. 

Kylie leads the Griffith Sea Jellies Research Laboratory, a state-of-the-art laboratory designed specifically to study jellyfish.  The laboratory is located within the iconic Sea World theme park and is on display to the public.  Kylie’s role in this project is to build an aquarium system for bluebottles and to understand how the various behaviours of bluebottles may influence their distributions.

Dr Alistair Poore is a Professor of ecology and evolution at the University of New South Wales. His research focusses on the interactions among marine organisms (invertebrates, fish, algae and seagrasses), human impacts to coastal marine ecosystems, habitat restoration, and the use of citizen science data for biodiversity monitoring.

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Dr. Anne Molcard is a physical oceanographer, professor at the University of Toulon, France. Her main scientific activity focused on small-scale processes in coastal zone through observation and modelling and data fusion, transport dynamics and environmental issues (pollution). The wave flume facilities in Toulon & Marseille will be used to test the bluebottle's path dependence on wind/waves and currents.

Dr Tim Ingleton is a Senior Scientist with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment with interests across coastal oceanography and monitoring, water and sediment quality, pollution, algal blooms, benthic diatoms and seabed mapping. For this project, Tim and the DPE team are providing the offshore vessel and platform RV Bombora to support the oceanographic fieldwork including use of their ADCP current meters, underway and profiling CTD systems as well as the deployment/retrieval of wave riders and drogues.

Dr Meredith Campey is Manager Beachwatch Programs with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Beachwatch monitors and reports on recreational water quality at swim sites across New South Wales. For this project Beachwatch is providing historical and current bluebottle presence data collected during routine monitoring of beaches along the coast.

Mr Shane Daw ESM is the General Manager Coastal Safety at Surf Life Saving Australia, having been employed within the SLS movement since 1991, and has been a long-standing volunteer member of the organisation. Shane is responsible for the maintaining the strategic direction of coastal safety and risk across all Surf Life Saving activities. The role manages and oversees coastal safety, lifesaving, research and emergency service functions in addition to managing the operations of Southern Helicopters. Shane loves the beach and the ocean and wants to ensure the public do too! In this project Shane will oversee the end user benefits and industry implementation of the research project outcomes.

Dr Saima Aijaz is a research scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology. Her research interests are in numerical modelling of waves, currents, and sediment transport. She has been involved in Eulerian and Lagrangian modelling in predicting extent of river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef. Her current research focuses on verification of global ocean currents against Lagrangian drifter buoy currents. For this project, Saima will be responsible for disseminating wind, waves, and currents data from the Bureau of Meteorology operational ocean forecast models to the project.

Dan is a biological oceanographer in the Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab at UNSW. He recently completed his PhD in fisheries science, with a focus on modelling larval dispersal and adult movement of Giant Mud Crab (Scylla serrata). Dan will be leading the development of a statistical model to predict the occurrence of bluebottles on east Australian beaches.

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Natacha Bourg is a PhD student at the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, co-supervised by A. Molcard (UTLN) & A. Schaeffer (UNSW). Her PhD focuses on the barrier role of boundary currents on transport (jellyfish, nutrients, passive pollutants...). She will contribute to the wave-flume experiments in France. 

Norton is a master’s student at UNSW who will be undertaking an internship with the Bluebottle Watch team to finish his studies. Norton will help complete field surveys while he develops a research question under the supervision of Daniel Hewitt and Amandine Schaeffer. His work will investigate factors influencing the within-beach spatial variability of Bluebottle landings.

Luca is an Applied Mathematics Honours student, undertaking his thesis under the supervision of Amandine Schaeffer. His research focuses on comparing theoretical models of Bluebottle drifting dynamics with experimental findings and involves the use of Lagrangian particle tracking to simulate Bluebottle pathways.

Kim is undertaking her honours thesis under the supervision of Alistair Poore and Amandine Schaeffer. She is looking into optimising bluebottle abundance surveys in order to ground truth current oceanic model predictions for bluebottle arrival onshore in Sydney and contribute new data to formulate risk prediction tools.

Daniel Lee completed his Honours at UNSW, finding a theoretical model for the drifting dynamics of the Bluebottle under the supervision of Amandine Schaeffer. His current research is an extension of this project; using his theoretical model combined with Lagrangian particle tracking to simulate Bluebottle pathways and determine the origin of their beachings. He hopes that his work encourages new research in this area and helps in the future development of a forecasting tool that can prevent tens of thousands of beachgoers from experiencing painful Bluebottle stings.

Maxime is a Master's student at the University of Toulon (France) completing an internship at UNSW. Her study focuses on understanding the inter-annual variability and extreme transport of Bluebottles along the Australian coasts. She also takes part in field work with daily observations of their strandings on Sydney's coast.