'It is simply taking a moment to acknowledge our presence, achievements and shared passion in science'.
Annique Harris, DELWP Scientist, Fish Ecology

Introduce yourself and give us a fun fact about Annique

After finishing my Honours degree in Zoology my career in science began with marine research in Queenscliff. I then joined a Shark Bay ecosystem research project in northern Western Australia, studying the majestic tiger shark and one of the largest and most diverse seagrass beds in the world.

From there I headed south to Perth, where I fell in love with freshwater research – working in biosecurity to identify and remove alien freshwater species, as well as biodiversity to manage freshwater crayfish populations.

After 6 years, I left the golden shores of WA for a two year Middle Eastern affair to monitor marine life from the Arabian Gulf to the Gulf of Aqaba. After eight years spent in aquatic research on the other side of the country and the other side of the world, my passion for freshwater research and the pull of Victoria landed me back on home soil, and here with ARI!

Once I experienced “shark-burn” while bear hugging a tiger shark. The shark rolled as I had both arms around it, to keep it in tonic immobility, while we tagged and collected biological data. The result was thousands of razor sharp dermal denticles (tiny flat V-shaped scales, that are more like teeth than fish scales!) scraping away the top layer of my skin.

What do you do at the ARI?

I’m part of the Applied Aquatic Ecology, Environmental Flow team at ARI. My main area of research is the Victorian Environmental Flow Monitoring and Assessment Program (VEFMAP), for which I provide technical support using fish survey techniques to assess the influence of environmental watering on native fish life history processes.

I’m also experienced in otolith (fish ear-bone) analysis techniques such as ageing and microchemistry, which provides valuable insight into fish population structure.

What are some of your proudest achievements?

My first paper published as first author and joining the dedicated and hardworking Applied Aquatic Ecology team at ARI.

I’m also proud of my Involvement in a recovery project for the critically endangered, hairy marron fish, which resulted in an increase in the proportion of hairy marron in the population from less than 10 per cent to over 25 per cent. It also established a captive breeding program that contained more than 400 hairy marron.

What does International Day of Women and Girls in Science mean to you?

It is simply taking a moment to acknowledge our presence, achievements and shared passion in science. Past, present and future – from Marie Curie with her Noble Prize, to my three year old niece with her binoculars.

Why is it important to recognise days like this?

To encourage and promote solidarity for women and girls in science.

Do you have any advice for girls and young women considering a career in science?

Reach out to those working in the field of science you are considering to build your knowledge and experience.

Annique Harris

Page last updated: 12/02/20