Seaweek lecture: Stingrays

Wednesday 7 March 2018 at 7.30pm

Helen Cadwallader MSc, PhD student, Waikato University

Venue: National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier

Admission: Gold coin donation

Stingrays in New Zealand are largely understudied, but as large coastal elasmobranch species, they are potentially exposed to some of the greatest anthropogenic risks. This talk will describe what we know about them, why they are important, and how we as humans are affecting them, from removal of habitat to their portrayal in the media. It will also highlight why we in New Zealand are in an excellent position to study them, and describe Helen’s current study on New Zealand’s rays, including how the rays here in the Aquarium have joined in the research.

Helen Cadwallader is a PhD candidate with the University of Waikato based at the Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga. She completed her MSc at Bangor University in her home country of Wales, where she specialised in cleaner-client interactions between tropical wrasse and pelagic thresher sharks, and her BSc at the University of Bristol, where her honours research concentrated on the behavioural reactions of freshwater fish to anthropogenic underwater noise. Helen specialises in elasmobranch behaviour and ecology and her PhD focuses on the stingray species in New Zealand, their spatial and feeding ecology in the Tauranga Harbour, and the potential impacts that the urbanisation of this area may be having on them.