Dr Narissa Bax
Centre for Marine Socioecology (currently based in the Falkland Islands)
Antarctic seafloor ecology, blue carbon, marine protected areas, connectivity and conservation, deep-sea stylasteridae corals, Falkland Islands, Sub-Antarctica, Patagonia, Myanmar
Why I do what I do
I have worked as a marine scientist in tropical, temperate and polar environments, collaborated and led multiple Antarctic field seasons, dived in Patagonia, contributed to marine management in Myanmar and worked in natural history collections around the world. As a consequence, I have witnessed some of Earth’s most spectacular biodiversity across a career inspired by Indonesia’s coral triangle ~17 years ago. I have also witnessed change and loss and hope to curb these trends by focusing my attention on remote, comparatively intact and isolated environments of high biodiversity. I am currently based in the Falkland Islands where I hope to coordinate at sea sampling and technology in unexplored mesophotic and deep-sea ecosystems – where preliminary investigations have identified new biodiversity habitats in 2021. Including previously unrecorded local marine-scapes; new records for stylasterid coral assemblages, rhodolith beds (coralline algae nodules), and reef-like aggregations of parchment worms. Due to the rare frontier location of the Falklands at the intersection of the South Atlantic and Sub-Antarctic – this research encompasses a vast geographic area of globally unique Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), and advances biodiversity protection and nature-based solutions to climate change globally.
Something interesting about me
Last week I co-discovered a bright blue sea slug in a local rock pool. This species is a first record for the Falkland Islands and a unique find. The only known description fitting this sea slug is from a South American expedition in 1948.