Dr Matthew Taylor
Visiting Fellow
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 2079

Room 427, D26 Building
UNSW, Kensington 2052


Research & Current Projects

My research focuses on all aspects of fundamental and applied aquatic ecology including factors affecting growth and recruitment of aquatic organisms, trophic ecology and stable isotope analysis, and more recently linking movements and habitat use of estuarine and coastal fishes with environmental variability (using acoustic telemetry and otolith microchemistry). Projects within my group stretch from the Richmond River in northern NSW to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, from freshwater environments, to estuaries and oceanographic ecosystems up to 200 nm off the coast. Specific topics currently under investigation within my group include:

  1. Habitat use of migratory behaviour and habitat use of estuarine predators;

  2. Enhancement and recovery of estuarine fish stocks;

  3. Sea ranching of the eastern king prawns (Melicertus plebejus) and enhancement of recreational penaeid prawn fisheries;

  4. Establishing an ecological basis for Australian bass stocking (Macquaria novemaculeata) in freshwater impoundments;

  5. Population genetics of mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) and the eastern king prawn (Penaeus plebejus);

  6. Ecology of temperate euphausiids, copepods and pelagic tunicates in the south-west Pacific basin, in connection with oceanographic features, competitors and predators;

  7. Social behaviour and ecology of co-occuring estuarine mysid speciesRhopalopthalmus egregiusHaplostylus dakini and Doxomysis australiensis;

  8. Ecology and distribution of estuarine larval fish;

  9. Factors affecting production and recruitment of small pelagic fishes;

  10. Latitudinal clines in ecology and reproduction of coastal herbivores (mainly Girellidae);

  11. Application of DIDSON to study fish populations in turbid estuarine environments.


The following facilities are available to students undertaking research within our research group (Fisheries and Marine Environmental Research @ UNSW):

  1. Dual-frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) and associated equipment including Yamaha generator;

  2. Seabird Seacat SBE19plusV2 CTD with ECO-FLTURNT (to measure conductivity, temperature, pH, DO, turbidity, chl-a fluorescence, PAR from the surface to 600 m depth);

  3. Seabird Microcat SBE37 CTD (to measure conductivity, temperature, and depth);

  4. EcoTriplet (measuring chl-a fluorescence, CDOM fluorescence, 640 nm backscatter);

  5. Stereo Baited Remote Underwater Video (S-BRUV) x 3, calibration cube, and licenses for CAL and EventMeasure software;

  6. Brooke Ocean Field Laser Optical Plankton counter with deck unit, data-logger and remote power source, rated to 600 m;

  7. Brooke Ocean Lab Laser Optical Plankton counter and circulation system;

  8. Olympus BH-2 S-Plan compound epi-fluorescence and image capture system;

  9. Leica M80 research microscope with BF/DF base and fibre-optic light source, 5MP camera and image analysis system;

  10. Leica M80 polarising research microscope;

  11. Allied Tech-cut 4 low-speed wafering saw for otolith thin-sections;

  12. Allied MetPrep 3grinder/polisher;

  13. 108 x Vemco 69 kHz VR2W acoustic receivers;

  14. 180 kHz Vemco Positioning System (VPS);

  15. Vemco VR100 ultrasonic receiver;

  16. Sonotronics USR-96 ultrasonic receiver;

  17. Sonotronics SUR-1 submersible underwater receivers;

  18. Microbalance.



Dr. Nick Payne

Room 427, Biological Sciences Building

9385 3807



Mr. Alex Pursche

Room 427, Biological Sciences Building

9385 2118



Research Students


  1. Setio C. A responsible eastern king prawn stocking program for Victoria. PhD commenced 2011

  2. Harris B. Temperate krill ecology in the East Australian Current. PhD commenced 2010

  3. Humphries J. Cold-core eddies: Oceanography, productivity and fisheries. PhD commenced 2010

  4. Stocks J. Recruitment and trophic processes of east coast blackfish: A changing role in a changing climate? PhD commenced 2010

  5. van der Muelan D. Hydrographic drivers of migration patterns of large temperate estuarine predators. PhD commenced 2010

  6. Gannon R. Site fidelity, natal homing and metapopulation structure in large estuarine predators. PhD commenced 2010

  7. McKinley A. Assessing and understanding ecological changes in highly disturbed estuaries: Fish bioindicator links to ecological effects. PhD commenced 2009

  8. Smith J. Optimising the stocking density of Australian bass in impoundments: Modelling predator demand and prey availability. PhD commenced 2008

  9. Chan JT. Establishing a genetic basis for the responsible stock enhancement of the eastern king prawns (Penaeus plebejus).PhD commenced 2008

  10. Pursche, AR. Optimising the stock enhancement of mulloway Argyrosomus japonicus(Sciaenidae): A bioenergetics approach. PhD submitted Jan 2011

  11. Ochwada F. Assessing the growth, survival and ecological implications of stocked eastern king prawns, Penaeus plebejus. PhD submitted July 2010



  1. Sime T. Krill on the edge: Temperate krill community interactions in a changing ocean. Completed 2010, Honours 1st Class.

  2. Schaeffer S. Feeding ecology of mado (Atypichthys strigatus) and the Coriolis effect on coastal to estuarine tidal flow. Completed 2010, Honours 1st Class.

  3. Baker J. Smile for the camera: Distribution of estuarine fish within and along Sydney estuaries. Completed 2010, Honours 1st Class.

  4. Setio C. Dynamic epifaunal assemblages in an enclosed lake: Influence of stock enhancement and environmental variability. Completed 2009, Honours 1st Class.

  5. Ko A. Linking acoustic telemetry and respiration to understand the energetic costs of movement in Melicertus plebejus in light of stock enhancement. Completed 2009, Honours 1st Class.

  6. Harris B. Whale bait: Community structure and oceanographic distribution of temperate euphausiids. Completed 2009, Honours 1st Class.

  7. Fairfax AV. Density dependent habitat selection in an estuarine finfish in southeast Australia - consequences for stock enhancement. Completed 2008, Honours 1stClass.

  8. Pursche AR. Estimating the natural mortality of juvenile mulloway Argyrosomus japonicus for stock enhancement in NSW.Completed 2006, Honours 1st Class.



BIOS6671             Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources

BIOS3091             Marine and Aquatic Ecology

BIOS3081             Ocean to Estuarine Ecosystems


Program coordinator Master of Conservation Biology (jointly run with Victoria University of Wellington, NZ)



  1. Smith J, Baumgartner LJ, Suthers IM, Taylor MD. Generalist niche, specialist strategy: the diet of an Australian Percichthyid. Journal of Fish Biology.
  2. Taylor MD, Ko A. (in press) Monitoring acoustically-tagged king prawns Penaeus(Melicertusplebejus in an estuarine lagoon. Marine Biology, accepted 14/12/2010.
  3. Taylor MD, Mullaney TJ, Suthers IM. (2010) Mesoscale distribution of larval Euphausia similis in various water masses of the East Australian Current. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 57, 1295-1303.
  4. Syahailatua A,Taylor MD, Suthers IM. (in press) Growth variability and stable isotope composition of two larval carangid fishes in the East Australian Current: The role of upwelling in the separation zone. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, accepted 30/03/2010.
  5. Ochwada F, Loneragan NR, Gray CA, Taylor MD (2010) Using field-based experimental ecology to understand stock enhancement: Habitat complexity influences predation on wild and hatchery-reared Penaeus plebejusJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 390, 65-71.
  6. Taylor MD, Mazumdar D (2010) Stable isotopes reveal post-release trophodynamic and ontogenetic changes in a released finfish, mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus). Marine and Freshwater Research, 61, 302-308.
  7. Taylor MD, Fielder DS, Suthers IM (2009) Growth and viability of hatchery-rearedArgyrosomus japonicus releases into open and semi-closed systems.Fisheries Management and Ecology, 16, 478-483.
  8. Ochwada F, Loneragan NR, Gray CA, Suthers IM, Taylor MD (2009) Complexity affects habitat preference and predation mortality in postlarval Penaeus plebejus: Implications for stock enhancement. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 380, 161-171.
  9. Taylor MD, Suthers IM (2008) A predatory impact model and targeted stock enhancement approach for optimal stocking of mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus).Reviews in Fisheries Science, 16, 125-134.
  10. Taylor MD (2008) Spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use by three estuarine species of mysid shrimp. Marine and Freshwater Research, 59, 792-798.
  11. Pursche AR, Suthers IM, Taylor MD (2009) Tethering induces increased stress artefacts in social fish species. Journal of Fish Biology, 74, 1525-1531.
  12. Taylor MD, Piola RF (2008) Scale stocking checks to differentiate between stocked and wild mulloway Argyrosomus japonicusFisheries Management and Ecology, 15, 211-216.
  13. Taylor MD(2007) Environmental Impact of Stocked Mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) in New South Wales Estuaries. PhD Thesis, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of NSW. 177 p.
  14. Taylor MD, SD Laffan, DS Fielder, IM Suthers (2006a) Key habitat and home range of mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) in a south-east Australian estuary: Finding the estuarine niche to optimise stocking. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 328, 237-247.
  15. Taylor MD, Fielder DS, Suthers IM (2006b) Spatial and ontogenetic variation in the diet of wild and stocked mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus, Sciaenidae) in Australian estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts, 29, 785-793.
  16. Taylor MD, Palmer PJ, Fielder DS, Suthers IM. (2005a) Responsible estuarine finfish stock enhancement: an Australian perspective. Journal of Fish Biology 67, 299-331.
  17. Taylor MD, Fielder DS, Suthers IM. (2005b) Batch marking of otoliths and fin spines to assess the stock enhancement of Argyrosomus japonicusJournal of Fish Biology 66, 1149-1162.