The biofouling diaspora: The global spread of marine species by ships
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Webinar closed, recording available here
From the time humans first launched vessels to sail along coasts and across seas, those boat hulls became the welcome home for the species were able to survive the stresses of a peripatetic lifestyle. Mention of marine growth slowing down, or even stopping ships dates to the 4thC BCE, and the use of preventative treatments back to 400 BCE. Antifouling paints were first formulated in the late 1800s, but these still had a limited effective life: to only 4-12 months in the 1940s, and rarely more than 18 months through to the mid-1960s. Through these centuries, an association of organisms unique to hull fouling has evolved, and many of these species have been spread to ports around the world. From Charles Darwin’s descriptions of ship fouling barnacles to the biofouling species found on modern-day ships, this webinar will discuss the nature and consequences of this global diaspora.
After completing his Master of Science degree in marine botany at the University of Melbourne in 1977, John Lewis went on to spend 30 years working as a scientist in the Defence Science & Technology Organisation in Melbourne. His principal research interests at DSTO were in marine biofouling and its prevention and, prior to his departure in mid-2007, he led a team investigating new, environmentally acceptable methods of biofouling control, biofouling and marine invasive species management. John now works as a private consultant, until recently with ES Link Services and now as Biofouling Management Services, primarily on biofouling impacts, antifouling technologies, invasive marine species identification and management, and ship emission indexing. John is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and is Co-Chair of the IMarEST Biofouling Management Special Interest Group.