Grant Pearson

Coordinator Anna Plains and Roebuck Bay Benthic Invertebrate Mapping 1996-2016: AnnRoeBIM. Global Flyway Network|Australia.

I have been (sort of) retired for a few years now. During my working life with the Western Australian government wetland and waterbird research organisation (the name changes since 1973 defy description) as Technical Officer working for elite scientists, Jim Lane and later Stuart Halse, I was fortunate to be involved in a wide range of research projects focussed on conserving wetland habitat through the state’s wetland nature reserve system. For a few years 1975 my work also included shorebird banding studies on the Swan River and in the South West of the State.

In 1982, delegated the role of State Department shorebird representative, I joined Clive Minton and others in pioneering the catching and banding work in North Western Australia. With the arrival of Theunis and Petra in Broome in 1996 I became involved in work on the benthic biomass of shorebird feeding grounds at Roebuck Bay, Eighty Mile Beach and King Sound. This marked the beginning of an era (for me and for the wider wetland conservation community) of better understanding of the conservation values of two of the world’s most bio-diverse intertidal mudflats- Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach.

My involvement in waterbird/shorebird studies and more recently intertidal wetland management has taken me to many fascinating places around the world, introduced me to people I now consider lifelong friends and, in terms of conservation outcomes, provided immense personal satisfaction. Much of this time I should add, has been spent basking in the reflected glory of luminaries such as Sir Theunis!

In October 2016 I was part of a team that revisited Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach to collect biological and sediment samples across the intertidal mud and sand flats. This work saw the involvement of a young(ish) wetland scientist, Andrew Storey, whose links with state government conservation authorities, industry, education and an interest in the role of indigenous involvement in the management of Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach has helped to set in place mechanisms that will preserve, not just the natural values, but importantly, the cultural values of both wetlands into the future. What more could anyone ask?

Team member and TeamPiersma collaborator Bob Hickey is hosting the reports of the AnnRoeBIM expeditions on his personal page here. A direct link to the AnnRoeBIM2016 expedition report can be found here.

Grant Pearson 2

Grant Pearson in 2016 sampling at Eight Mile Beach