Lab Leader

Prof Mary-Anne Lea

Current research

Dr Mary-Anne Lea is a Professor at the Ecology and Biodiversity Centre at the Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania.

She is interested in the way in which the environment and climate change affect the behaviour, distribution and life history of marine and polar vertebrates. She studies the behavioural ecology of many species of seals and seabirds in temperate, Southern Ocean and Alaskan waters and has participated in over 25 expeditions and voyages.

Her research focuses on the way in which marine predators, especially migratory animals, interact with their environment at different temporal and spatial scales, and the fine-scale relationships between animal behaviour and prey dynamics. Much of her and the Marine Predator Lab group’s research focuses on the use of emergent technologies to study the influence of climate change and variability within the marine environment on top predator behaviour and distributions in the Southern Ocean and globally.

She is a member of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research Expert Group of Birds and Marine Mammals, a SC-ATS delegate at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Mary-Anne is also a keen advocate of equity and inclusion and a co-founder of Homeward Bound.BiographyAfter completing her Science degree at the University of Sydney, Mary-Anne moved to Tasmania to study the maternal investment of long-nosed fur seals for her Honours degree.

After working as a research assistant at the University of Tasmania, Mary-Anne undertook at joint PhD with the Zoology Dept. and the CEBC-CNRS (France) to study the ecology and oceanographic interactions of Antarctic fur seals at Iles Kerguelen. Since then Mary-Anne has conducted post-docs at the UBC Fisheries Centre (Vancouver, 2003-2004) and the National Marine Mammal Laboratory (Seattle, 2005-2007) researching the winter ecology of juvenile Steller sea lions and northern fur seals.

Mary-Anne returned to Tasmania in 2007 to take up an ARC-funded post-doc on the winter migratory behaviour of Antarctic fur seals. More recently Mary-Anne has held visiting research fellowships at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (2012) and the Scottish Association of Marine Science (2013, MASTS Fellowship).

What my project involves

Fun trivia about my research

Research project in a haiku

Research-related interests

About me

Previous work I've done

Committees and affiliations

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