Estuarine research unit

Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research

Dr Chris Hallett

 

Biography

Originally from the UK, I gained a BSc in Biology from the University of Manchester before commencing an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection at the University of Wales, Bangor. During my MSc, I held a volunteer research fellowship at CSIRO in Hobart, studying the diet and feeding ecology of two deep-sea dogfish species on Tasmanian seamounts.

From 2007 to 2010 I completed a PhD at Murdoch University. My thesis, funded by the Departments of Water and Fisheries, the Swan River Trust and the Western Australian Marine Science Institution, sought to develop a multimetric index for assessing the ecological health of the Swan Estuary.

I am a senior researcher and lecturer, and have previously worked on consultancy projects for Chevron, as an employee of Aquenal Pty Ltd. I am now based in the Netherlands, and continue to be employed as a senior researcher at Murdoch University in a part-time capacity.

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Peer-reviewed publications

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S., Warwick, R.M., Clarke, K.R., Potter, I.C. (In review) The hypoxia that developed in a microtidal estuary following an extreme storm produced dramatic changes in the benthos.

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J., Clarke, K.R., Hoeksema, S.D. (Submitted) Multiple lines of evidence reveal complex impacts of a harmful algal bloom on estuarine fish communities.

Veale, L., Tweedley, J.R., Clarke, K.R., Hallett, C.S., Potter, I.C. (In press). Characteristics of the ichthyofauna of a temperate microtidal estuary with a reverse salinity gradient, including comparisons between decades. Journal of Fish Biology doi:10.1111/jfb.12467.

Hallett, C.S. (2014). Quantile-based grading improves the effectiveness of a multimetric index as a tool for communicating estuarine condition. Ecological Indicators 39: 84-87.

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J., Clarke, K.R., Hesp, S.A., Hoeksema, S.D. (2012). Development and validation of a fish-based, multimetric index for assessing the ecological health of Western Australian estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 104-105: 102-113.

Hallett, C.S., Hall, N.G. (2012). Equivalence factors for standardising catch data across multiple beach seine nets to account for differences in relative bias. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 104-105: 114-122.

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J., Clarke, K.R. (2012). A method for selecting health index metrics in the absence of independent measures of ecological condition. Ecological Indicators 19: 240-242. Find it here...

Hallett, C.S. and Daley, R.K. (2011). Feeding ecology of the southern lanternshark (Etmopterus baxteri) and the brown lanternshark (E. unicolor) from south-eastern Australia.  ICES J. Mar. Sci. 68 (1): 157-165. Find it here...

Theses, reports and other publications

Hallett, C.S., Tweedley, J.R. (2014). Assessment of the condition of the Swan-Canning Estuary in 2014, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Draft report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S. (2013). Assessment of the condition of the Swan-Canning Estuary in 2013, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Draft report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University.

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S. (2012). Monitoring the effects of artificial oxygenation on biota. Draft report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S. (2012). Assessment of the condition of the Swan-Canning Estuary in 2012, based on the Fish Community Indices of estuarine condition. Final report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S. (2012). Brief report on fish community responses to the Karlodinium veneficum bloom of May 2012, including the response of the Fish Community Index of estuarine condition. Final report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University. 

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S. (2012). Fish fauna survey provides new insights into the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetland system. Wetlands Australia: National Wetlands Update, Issue 21, pp. 34-35.

Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S., Chambers, J.M. (2012). A baseline survey of the fish fauna of the highly eutrophic Vasse and Wonnerup estuaries. Report to the Southwest Catchments Council. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J. (2012). Validation of the fish assemblage-based index of estuarine health and development of a monitoring regime for the Swan-Canning Riverpark. Final Report to the Swan River Trust. Murdoch University.

Valesini, F.J., Hallett, C.S., Cottingham, A., Hesp, S.A., Hoeksema, S.D., Hall, N.G., Linke, T.E., Buckland, A.J. (2011). Development of biotic indices for establishing and monitoring ecosystem health of the Swan-Canning Estuary. Final Report to the Swan River Trust, Department of Water, Department of Fisheries. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S. (2011). DomGas Marine Baseline Survey Dry and Wet Season Report: Demersal Fish Assemblages Characterising Mangrove Communities. Prepared for Chevron Australia. Aquenal Pty Ltd.  

Hallett, C.S. (2010). The development and validation of an estuarine health index using fish community characteristics (PhD thesis, Murdoch University). Find it here...

Valesini, F.J., Coen, N.J., Wildsmith, M.D., Hourston, M., Tweedley, J.R., Hallett, C.S., Linke, T.E., Potter, I.C. (2009). Relationships between fish faunas and habitat type in south-western Australian estuaries. FRDC Project 2004/045 Final Report. Murdoch University.

Hallett, C.S., Valesini, F.J., Potter, I.C. (2007). Fish community characteristics as indicators of estuarine health: Discussion paper. Swan River Trust, East Perth.

Hallett, C.S. (2003). The diet of Etmopterus baxteri and E. sp. B from waters off Tasmania (M.Sc. thesis, University of Wales, Bangor).

Hallett, C.S. (2001). Effects of light wavelength on metamorph fitness of the leaf frog Phyllomedusa lemur (B.Sc. thesis, University of Manchester).

Estuarine Health Indices

My PhD thesis developed fish-based multimetric indices for assessing the ecological health of the Swan-Canning Estuary. These indices provide a key monitoring and management tool and have now been implemented under an annual monitoring and reporting regime since 2012. It is anticipated that they will form a component of future ecosystem report cards for the Swan-Canning estuary.

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Current research

My current research projects focus on the ecology of estuarine and nearshore marine fish and macroinvertebrate communities, the concept of ecological health, its monitoring and assessment, and the use of ecological indicators for aquatic ecosystem management and reporting.

In addition, my broader research interests include:
- approaches to managing and restoring estuaries, wetlands and other ecosystems;
- the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function;
- studies of trophic partitioning among fish;
- the factors affecting the temporal and spatial distributions of organisms; 
-
multivariate methods for analysing ecological data;
- citizen science and community education;
- bias and comparability among sampling methods for aquatic organisms
.