Dr Alastair Hirst





Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


Centre for Integrative Ecology


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


+61 3 524 79262


Dr Alastair Hirst is a marine ecologist with an interest in the community ecology of benthic ecosystems. He has held a number of positions across a diverse career spanning 18 years, most recently as senior research scientist at the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI). Alastair’s recent research interests have focussed on Port Phillip Bay, particularly the ecology of seagrass, demersal fish and introduced species assemblages. As part of these projects Alastair has been using a combination of historical seagrass mapping, archives of fish age , growth and recruitment, hydrodynamic and catchment modelling (in conjunction with the EPA), and time series of fisheries independent sampling to examine the environmental drivers of ecological change in seagrass and fish communities in Port Phillip Bay. These insights will be important in managing the condition of Port Phillip Bay in the future, by providing an historical perspective of the environmental drivers of change.

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Experimental test of N-limitation for Zostera nigricaulis seagrass at three sites reliant upon very different sources of N

A Hirst, G Jenkins

(2017), Vol. 486, pp. 204-213, Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


The impact of burial on the survival and recovery of the subtidal seagrass Zostera nigricaulis

A Hirst, S McGain, G Jenkins

(2017), Vol. 142, pp. 10-15, Aquatic botany, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1


Determination of the physical drivers of Zostera seagrass distribution using a spatial autoregressive lag model

A Hirst, K Giri, D Ball, R Lee

(2017), Vol. 68, pp. 1752-1763, Marine and freshwater research, Clayton, Vic., C1


Decadal decline in demersal fish biomass coincident with a prolonged drought and the introduction of an exotic starfish

G Parry, A Hirst

(2016), Vol. 544, pp. 37-52, Marine ecology progress series, Oldendorf, Germany, C1


Linking nitrogen sources utilised by seagrass in a temperate marine embayment to patterns of seagrass change during drought

A Hirst, A Longmore, D Ball, P Cook, G Jenkins

(2016), Vol. 549, pp. 79-88, Marine ecology: progress series, Oldendorf, Germany, C1


Multiple dispersal vectors drive range expansion in an invasive marine species

M Richardson, C Sherman, R Lee, N Bott, A Hirst

(2016), Vol. 25, pp. 5001-5014, Molecular ecology, Chichester, Eng., C1


Evidence of abalone ( Haliotis rubra ) diet from combined fatty acid and stable isotope analyses

M Guest, P Nichols, S Frusher, A Hirst

(2008), Vol. 153, pp. 579-588, Marine biology, Berlin, Germany, C1-1


Modern estuarine siliceous spiculites, Tasmania, Australia : a non-polar link to phanerozoic spiculitic cherts

C Reid, N James, T Kyser, N Barrett, A Hirst

(2008), Vol. 36, pp. 107-110, Geology, Boulder, Colo., C1-1


Surrogate measures for assessing cryptic faunal biodiversity on macroalgal-dominated subtidal reefs

A Hirst

(2008), Vol. 141, pp. 211-220, Biological conservation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1


Spatial and temporal variation in the structure of estuarine macroinvertebrate assemblages: Implications for assessing the health of estuaries

A Hirst, R Kilpatrick

(2007), Vol. 58, pp. 866-879, Marine and freshwater research, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1


Vertical stratification of mobile epiphytal arthropod assemblages between the canopy and understorey of subtidal macroalgae

A Hirst

(2007), Vol. 150, pp. 427-441, Marine biology, Berlin, Germany, C1-1


Classification of macroinvertebrate communities across drainage basins in Victoria, Australia : consequences of sampling on a broad spatial scale for predictive modelling

R Marchant, A Hirst, R Norris, L Metzeling

(1999), Vol. 41, pp. 253-268, Freshwater biology, Chichester, England, C1-1


Classification and prediction of macroinvertebrate assemblages from running waters in Victoria, Australia

R Marchant, A Hirst, R Norris, R Butcher, L Metzeling, D Tillier

(1997), Vol. 16, pp. 664-681, Journal of the North American Benthological Society, Charlottetown, Canada, C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Improving sustainability of sand flathead stocks in Port Phillip Bay and Victoria

Dr Alastair Hirst

  • 2014: $27,272
  • 2013: $54,545

Equipping managers with the tools to build resilience in seagrass ecosystems in Port Phillip Bay

Dr Alastair Hirst

  • 2015: $45,000
  • 2014: $30,000
  • 2013: $80,000

Agreement for the provision of statistical support services (modelling and analysis of fisheries data)

Dr Alastair Hirst

  • 2014: $15,820

Marine pest monitoring of the Gippsland Lakes

Dr Alastair Hirst, Dr Nathan Bott

  • 2015: $56,295
  • 2014: $20,000

Supply of Services Agreement to provide scientific consulting services to Fisheries Victoria (modelling and statistical analysis of fisheries data)

Dr Alastair Hirst

  • 2015: $24,440

Development of a long-term fisheries habitat restoration program in Port Phillip Bay

Dr Alastair Hirst

  • 2015: $5,000


No completed student supervisions to report