Beth Fulton, Ph.D.
- Science Leader
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
- Award Year
Beth Fulton is a principal research scientist at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), where she specializes in oceans and atmosphere research and works to understand the diverse but vulnerable systems in the tropics and poles. Her Pew fellowship project has facilitated the development of biodiversity models that can contribute to management decisions in the poles and tropics. Her project supported field work in Borneo, where she used the model extensions to help explore new livelihood choices for villagers in order to reduce pressure on local reefs and marine parks in the region, ultimately leading to healthier reefs and fish populations. The project also developed the first dynamic ecosystem model of Antarctica, allowing for consideration of climate and management decisions on the ecosystem state and resilience. The biodiversity models developed in the project have been integrated with existing ecosystem modeling frameworks, such as Atlantis, which are used to support marine resource and environmental management decisions around the world. Fulton hopes that the approaches developed during the project will be used to improve understanding of the dynamics of biodiversity in the tropics and poles using a common framework. In particular, that they will be used to give explicit guidance regarding the potential impacts of global change on the biodiversity of Antarctic ecosystems and to provide strategic prioritization of the threats to marine biodiversity in Indonesia. Understanding about marine socioecological systems derived from the work done in the fellowship contributed to the formation of the Centre of Marine Socioecology, a collaboration involving the University of Tasmania, CSIRO, and the Australian Antarctic Division. This centre aims to bring together researchers from many disciplines to address the challenges to achieving sustainable use of our coasts and oceans. To learn more about Fulton, visit her bio online: http://people.csiro.au/F/B/Beth-Fulton.aspx.