Scientist impresses

The world for South Penrith resident Laura Parker is her oyster just as long as she continues her research on ocean acid levels.

The 25-year-old University of Western Sydney student, who is researching the way rising acid in our oceans is affecting commercial oysters, won best student presentation award at two ocean-climate conferences this year.

Presenting pioneering research from her PhD, “The impact of ocean acidification and temperature on the early development of oysters”, Ms Parker rocked the climate change conferences in Spain in May and in Monaco in October.

Ms Parker delivered her findings with a 15-minute presentation of her study and results.

“Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean and the pH level is dropping, making it more acidic,” she said.

“It dissolves into the first upper 100 meters of the ocean.

“I also found that fertilisation and growth are reduced in the Sydney rock and Pacific oysters, increasing abnormalities.

“This will happen soon and I’m trying to find the effects of current disease before the acid levels drop.”

Anita Maglicic, Penrith City Star, 28 October 2008. Article.

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