Brief description

Dr Gretta Pecl
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Gretta Pecl is a Fulbright Fellow and a Senior Research Fellow leading several projects within the Estuaries and Coasts Program at the Centre for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Coasts. She is also the Research Fellow for the Marine and Biodiversity theme of the Adaptation Research Network for Marine Biodiversity and Resources (
Gretta is a marine ecologist with many years of experience working on life history, fisheries ecology and population connectivity, and is particularly interested in assessing the role of movement and migration as key processes structuring marine populations. Identifying the spatial scale of population connectivity and understanding the effect and role of connectivity on recruitment of future generations is a very poorly understood area. Understanding such processes also lies at the crux of assessing and predicting how populations may respond to major challenges such as climate change. Much of Gretta’s work is interdisciplinary in nature, aimed at addressing questions critical to both ecological understanding of our marine systems and sustainable management of resources.
Recent research activity spans a range of topics including detecting and understanding the mechanisms behind species range extensions, population and fishery responses to environmental change, and on using citizen science approaches for ecological monitoring and engagement (e.g. Developing and evaluating adaptation options, for minimising impacts and maximising opportunities under a changing climate, is also a large focus. Gretta is one of a larger team working on developing a Global Network of Marine Hotspots aimed at building a global network of scientists, managers and policy makers from regions like south east Australia that are warming at a rate much faster than the global average. The network will allow knowledge to be synthesised, compared and contrasted across locations, and provide a framework for facilitating accelerated learning and indication of sensible adaptation pathways for other global regions.
Research and projects
  • Impacts of climate change on marine resources and environment-biology interactions
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to developing adaptation options
  • Understanding and assessing mechanisms underpinning marine range shifts
  • Movement, migration & population linkages of marine species
  • Life history, population dynamics and stock assessment of commercial cephalopods
  • Citizen science
  • Science communication and engagement
  • Associate Professor Pecl is a local Tasmanian, starting her undergraduate degree at UTAS before transferring to James Cook University for Honours and then to undertake a PhD. Her PhD project examined the life history of several cephalopod species and populations along the east coast of Australia. This work was extended through an FRDC project at UTAS and then an ARC post-doctoral fellowship, examining the movements and population connectivity of southern calamari using a range of techniques including acoustic tracking and trace element analysis.Most of Gretta's early field work at UTAS concentrated on waters off the east coast of Tasmania. This is a region experiencing a high rate of ocean warming, and consequently, many species and population responses to this, leading her to become more interested in the potential impacts of marine climate change. In 2010 Gretta extended this work to the warming waters of Alaska with a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (based in Juneau), researching the impacts of climate change on red king crab. Now, Gretta is one of a team of scientists developing the Global Marine Hotspots Network.After several shorter-term projects funded with external grants, Gretta was successful with an ARC Future Fellowship, exploring the physiological and ecological mechanisms underpinning the large-scale redistribution of species occurring throughout our marine systems. Much of her work is interdisciplinary in nature, aimed at addressing questions critical to both ecological understanding of our marine systems and sustainable management of resources. Gretta also has a strong commitment to science communication with the public, particularly through the Redmap Australia citizen science project she developed.

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