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Dr Ceridwen Fraser


Phone 64-3-479-5820

Dr Ceridwen has taken up a post-doctoral position in Belgium. Further information and contact details are as follows:

Research Interests

Collecting kelp and marine invertebrates from the Falkland Islands

  • Phylogeography
  • Ecology
  • Polar and sub-polar ecosystems
  • Mechanisms of biotic dispersal

Current Projects

Understanding the rate, severity and evolutionary impacts of past climate change is fundamental to predicting the biological effects of future climate change. Studies that compare patterns of genetic diversity across broad geographic gradients (e.g., latitudes) can give signficant insights into the evolutionary impacts of historic climate change. Our recent phylogeographic research on a widespread Southern Hemisphere kelp species (bull kelp: Durvillaea antarctica) has indicated that the extent of Antarctic sea ice at the Last Glacial Maximum may have been underestimated by previous studies (see Publications below, Fraser et al. 2009). My current research aims to use phylogeographic analysis of a wide range of macroalgal species (both ice-sensitive and ice-resilient intertidal taxa) throughout the Southern Ocean to assess 1) whether sea ice indeed extended further north than previously believed, and 2) the ecological and evolutionary impacts of historic ice scour on Southern Ocean islands. This research is funded by the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and is connected to a Marsden-funded project: Rafting communities in the West Wind Drift: the importance of buoyant kelp, with Associate Professor Jonathan Waters and Professor Hamish Spencer.

Subantarctic Marion Island with penguins in background

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Fraser CI, Nikula R & Waters JM (2011) Oceanic rafting of a coastal community. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 278:649-655 [doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1117]

Fraser CI, Winter DJ, Spencer HG & Waters JM (2010) Multigene phylogeny of the southern bull-kelp genus Durvillaea (Phaeophyceae: Fucales). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57:1301–1311 [doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2010.10.011]

Smith AM, Wood ACL, Liddy MFA, Shears A, Fraser CI (2010) Human impacts in an urban port: the carbonate budget, Otago Harbour, New Zealand. Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science, 90:73-79 [doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2010.07.004]

Collins CJ, Fraser CI, Ashcroft A & Waters JM (2010) Asymmetric dispersal of southern bull-kelp (Durvillaea antarctica) adults in coastal New Zealand: testing an oceanographic hypothesis. Molecular Ecology, 19:4572–4580. [doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04842.x]

Fraser CI, Thiel M, Spencer HG & Waters JM (2010) Contemporary habitat discontinuity and historic glacial ice drive genetic divergence in Chilean kelp. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10:203 [doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-203]

Nikula R, Fraser CI, Spencer HG, Waters JM (2010) Circumpolar dispersal by rafting in two subantarctic kelp-dwelling crustaceans. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 405:221-230 [doi: 10.3354/meps08523]

Fraser CI, Nikula R, Spencer HG & Waters JM (2009) Kelp genes reveal effects of subantarctic sea ice during the Last Glacial Maximum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 106:3249-3253 [doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810635106]

Fraser CI, Spencer HG & Waters JM (2009) Glacial oceanographic contrasts explain phylogeography of Australian bull kelp. Molecular Ecology, 18:2287–2296 [doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04201.x]

Fraser CI, Hay CH, Spencer HG & Waters JM (2009) Genetic and morphological analyses of the southern bull kelp Durvillaea antarctica (Phaeophyceae: Durvillaeales) in New Zealand reveal cryptic species. Journal of Phycology, 45: 436-443 [doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2009.00658.x]

Fraser C, Hutchings PA & Williamson JE (2006) Long-term changes in polychaete assemblages of Botany Bay (NSW, Australia) following a dredging event. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 52(9): 997-1010 [doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.12.016]

Fraser C, Capa M & Schuchert P (2006) European hydromedusa Eleutheria dichotoma (Anthomedusae: Cladonematidae) found at high densities in New South Wales, Australia: distribution, biology and habitat. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 86: 699-703 [doi:10.1017/S0025315406013592]

Other Publications

Fraser, Ceridwen (2009) Phylogeography of the kelp genus Durvillaea (Phaeophyceae: Fucales). Doctoral thesis, University of Otago: Dunedin, New Zealand.

Fraser, Ceridwen (2009) An Icier Ice Age. Australasian Science, June 2009

Fraser, C, Capa, M and Schuchert, P (2006) These Arms are Made for Walking: Tiny ‘walking jellyfish’ patrol intertidal algae. JMBA Global Marine Environment, 4:6-7

Media Highlights

ScienceNOW [online news page of Science journal]. Kelp Raft Carries Marine Stowaways Hundreds of Kilometers. Author: Cassandra Willyard. September 2010.
- Shorter version published in print in Science.

Australian Geographic. Sea creatures set sail on rafts of kelp. Author: Julian Swallow. September 2010.

ABC Science. Stowaways found hitching ride on seaweed. Author: Katherine Nightingale. September 2010.

Reuters. Kelp genetics reveals Ice Age climate clues. Author: David Fogarty. February 2009.

Cosmos. Last Ice Age colder than we thought. Author: Gillian Shaw. February 2009.

New Zealand National Radio [interview]. Bull Kelp. Interview conducted by: Alison Ballance. January 2009.