A sea of data: Critically evaluating the ocean’s biggest challenge

Professor Jeffrey Shima discusses the science of ecology, the life histories of marine organisms and the great capacity for resilience in the sea

Inaugural lecture—Professor Jeffrey Shima

September 2016

Our oceans face many challenges—overfishing, pollutants and climate change, to name a few. But the greatest challenge may be our limited understanding of the movements and habits of marine organisms—because without this essential knowledge, managing all other threats is impossible.

Professor Shima describes the challenges of tracking movements and habits of baby fish in a big ocean, and solutions afforded by “environmental fingerprints” (chemical signatures), contained within the ear bones of juvenile fish, as markers of their geographic origin. He will also discuss the science of ecology, the life histories of marine organisms and the great capacity for resilience in the sea.

This is Professor Shima’s inaugural lecture as Professor of Ecology at Victoria University of Wellington.