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Ameer Ebrahim, the Seychelles student at University in Australia, sees his work recognized

Ameer Ebrahim, the Seychelles student at University in Australia, sees his work recognized ( Recently-graduated Seychellois University student, Ameer Ebrahim, is seeing his works being recognized as he establishes his name in the field of Marine Science. Ameer Ebrahim is currently a student at Griffith University doing his Honors in Marine Science.

During Ameer Ebrahim’s final semester for his undergraduate degree at Griffith University, he enrolled into the Industry Affiliates Program (IAP). This is a course that is conducted primarily as individual student placements within an industrial or research environment and emphasizes academic and vocational aspects of modern industry practice. This is an opportunity for university students to consolidate their technical knowledge by undertaking a project in a professional workplace while simultaneously managing their learning and course assessment.

The project provides students with the opportunity to undertake a substantial project that usually has an industry application. Students work in close liaison with their industry supervisor and university supervisor throughout the project and are expected to demonstrate a good understanding of their project. The course also emphasizes that competence in management, business, and social responsibilities are essential components in all fields within the environmental science professions and the key attributes of a contemporary industry or research environment.

For his Industry Affiliates Program, Ameer Ebrahim was approached by the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) of Australia.

In 2008, the Gold Coast City Council was successful in receiving funding from the state government to develop the “Southport Broadwater Parklands Project Q150 Legacy Infrastructure Program.” From this, an RFI planning and Offsets Report’ outlined the construction of a new wharf and the redevelopment of the local parklands. This report was then submitted for approval through the necessary departments including, Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS); The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation Queensland (DEEDI); and The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Branch (DPI&F).

These departments concluded that the GCCC was required to provide appropriate marine offsets from the impact of these developments. As a result of this requirement, the GCCC has developed the “Southport Broadwater Parklands Mangrove and Seagrass Habitat Project” to help counterbalance the environmentally-invasive actions caused by the parklands redevelopment. The GCCC was required to develop a mangrove habitat area and seagrass area to help offset the environmental impacts on critical fish habitats by the parklands redevelopment.

The GCCC and Griffith University work together in recruiting marine science final year students under the “Industrial Affiliates Program” to carry out research in monitoring the condition of the sediment and associated fauna, as well as monitoring the growth and condition of the planted mangroves (including nutrient and pollutant uptake).

The aim of Ameer’s project was to monitor the ecological effects of a created mangrove habitat on the environment. This was carried out by conducting surveys of the flora, including algae, seagrass, saltmarsh and dune plants, and the fauna including avian, marine vertebrates, invertebrates (epifaunal and infaunal molluscs, crustaceans, and worms), and fish species living within a created mangrove habitat.

Stable isotope analysis was carried out in order to find out if and/or fish found in the area are using the site for food or whether or not the fish are migrating in or out of the habitat. This helped determine whether the mangrove site is used mainly for feeding or if it is actually a nursery where fish spend most of their juvenile period in for protection from predation.

The outcome from Ameer Ebrahim’s Industry Affiliates Program earned him a Distinction in the course. The results that he found were reported at the Queensland Landcare Conference in Australia by Mr. Jeremy Hall, who is Principal Project Officer at the GCCC. His findings will be used to help improve the Broadwater Parklands Management and also hopefully be a role model to future artificial mangrove sites around Australia and the world.

A full copy of the report can be obtained at href=""> .


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