Dr. Shanta Barley

Postdoctoral Fellow


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

Email | Phone | Mobile

Latest tweets

  • RT : Despite the huge spatial & temporal overlap of N Atl sharks with , & the 'overfishing/overfished' stock assessment, members reject total retention ban - any real interest in shark fisheries management or sustainable fishing? ,
  • ... whereas, for example, in the puma sequence in , the predator not only gets a cute name (Sarmiento) but also a heartrending back story of her struggle to feed her cubs in the face of insurmountable adversity. ,
  • ... although it is fascinating to see that falls into the usual clichés with sharks (eery music/the "ruthless predator" that is "well able to pick off reef fish"; actually they have relatively low hunting success rates of 5-8% ),

PhD title: What the loss of sharks mean for coral reef ecosystems.

Start date: 1 September, 2012

Reef sharks are being removed from coral reefs globally yet we do not understand how this affects these hotspots of biodiversity. Where sharks are absent, prey may change in terms of abundance, size, behaviour, diet, condition and growth rate, which could have severe knock-on effects on the rest of the ecosystem.

I explore these issues using stereo underwater video systems, stable isotopes and a range of other techniques.

  • Publications
  • Grants & Awards
  • Collaborations
  • Media


Hammerschlag N, Barley SC, Irschick DJ, >Meeuwig JJ, Nelson ER, Meekan MG. 2018. Predator declines and morphological changes in prey: Evidence from coral reefs depleted of sharks. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 586: 127-139.


Barley SC, Meekan MG, Meeuwig, JJ. 2017. Diet and condition of mesopredators on coral reefs in relation to shark abundance. PloS ONE, 12(4): e0165113.

Barley SC, Meekan MG, Meeuwig, JJ. 2017. Species diversity, abundance, biomass, size and trophic structure of fish on coral reefs in relation to shark abundance. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 565: 163-179.


Barley SC, Meeuwig JJ. 2016. The power and the pitfalls of large-scale, unreplicated natural experiments. Ecosystems. DOI:10.1007/s10021-016-0028-5.

Barley SC, Meekan MG, Meeuwig JJ. 2016. Diet and condition of mesopredators on coral reefs in relation to shark abundance. Plos ONE.


Barley SC, Mehta RS, Meeuwig JJ, Meekan MG. 2015. To knot or not? Novel feeding behaviours in moray eels. Marine Biodiversity, 46(3): 703-705.


Barley SB, Walker RCJ. 2013. Population density and seasonal detection rates of a unique population of critically endangered northern Madagascar spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides brygooi). Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 8(3): 616–621.

Australian Institute of Marine Science – Perth, Australia

Prof. Simon Thorrold – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Dr Neil Hammerschlag – University of Miami

BBC One – Science presenter for the series Ingenious Animals http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07wsnpq

BBC Earth – The strange reason why hagfish tie themselves into knots http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160905-the-strangest-fish-in-the-sea

BBC – Climate change blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/climatechange/shanta_barley

The Conversation – Humans are experimenting with the planet, so let’s make sure we learn along the way https://theconversation.com/humans-are-experimenting-with-the-planet-so-lets-make-sure-we-learn-along-the-way-64558

The Wire – Moray Eels Knot Themselves to Pry Prey http://thewire.in/62857/moray-eels-knot-reef/

Guardian UK – Contributor http://www.theguardian.com/profile/shanta-barley

Nature journal – Feature writer

New Scientist and Nature Climate Change – Environmental reporting

Think: Sustainability Podcast, Radio 2ser 107.3: The importance of large-scale, unreplicated natural experiments Australasian Science Magazine: Large-scale, unreplicated natural experiments (December 2016)