Sean van Elden

PhD candidate


Centre for Marine Futures
School of Biological Sciences
& UWA Oceans Institute
University of Western Australia M092
35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009

Email | Phone

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PhD title: Rigs-to-Reefs ecology: Offshore oil and gas platforms as novel ecosystems

Start date: 4 April, 2017

I studied in South Africa where I received my Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013, and my Bachelor of Science Honours at Nelson Mandela University in 2014. After working at Nelson Mandela University, I moved to Australia and joined the Marine Futures lab at UWA in 2016 as an image analyst. I started my PhD in April 2017, working on the role of offshore oil and gas platforms play as novel ecosystems. By studying an oil platform situated on the North West Shelf, I aim to investigate the community structure of both benthic and pelagic species associated with offshore platforms, as a basis for future decommissioning decisions.

  • Publications
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van Elden S., Tothill T., Meeuwig JJ. 2020. Strategies for obtaining ecological data to enhance decommissioning assessments. The APPEA Journal 60(2) 559-562.


van Elden S, Meeuwig JJ, Hobbs RJ and Hemmi JM. 2019. Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms as Novel Ecosystems: A Global Perspective. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:548. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00548ded



Rishworth GM, van Elden S, Perissinotto R, Miranda N, Steyn P, Bornman T. 2016. Environmental influences on living marine stromatolites: Insights from benthic microalgal communities. Environmental Microbiology, 18(2)503-513.



van Elden S, Miranda NAF, Perissinotto R, Adams J. 2015. Plant selection and grazing activity of the invasive snail Theba pisana in coastal Algoa Bay, South Africa. African Zoology, 50(3) 227-231.



van Elden S, Dyer MJ, Carrasco N, Perissinotto R. 2014. Meso-zooplankton movement through the newly constructed Mfolozi channel into and out of the St Lucia Estuary, South Africa. African Zoology, 49(2) 317-325.