Diadromous species, which undertake predictable migrations between marine and freshwater habitats, provide excellent study systems to explore the underlying evolutionary causes and consequences of migration. My research focuses on the drivers of catadromous (i.e., migration from saline spawning grounds to freshwater growth habitats) behaviour in barramundi across northern Australia. As with many other migratory fishes, migration behaviour in riverine barramundi is remarkably diverse among individuals; a characteristic linked to enhanced fishery productivity and resilience. My research aims to develop conceptual and quantitative models to explore different life-history strategies undertaken by individuals, and the subsequent effects on individual growth rates, maturation schedules, reproductive fitness and fishery productivity. Because migration behaviour is intrinsically linked to environmental factors (e.g., flows, hydrological connectivity), understanding the consequences of different barramundi migration strategies is essential for predicting population-level responses to environmental change. This is an especially high priority given the increasing degradation of freshwater habitats in northern Australia, and subsequent threats to economically, socially and culturally valuable of barramundi fisheries in the region.
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