Shark Bay 1616-1991: the spread of science and the emergence of ecology in a World Heritage area

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Shark Bay is an extensive marine embayment located on the central coast of Western Australia that is recognised as a World Heritage Property on the basis of the Outstanding Universal Value of the natural environment of the region. This thesis examines the history of science at Shark Bay between the arrival of the first European explorers in the seventeenth century through to the official recognition of Shark Bay as a World Heritage Area in 1991. Each of the seven chapters is devoted to a different period in the development of scientific investigations, beginning with Dutch and English mariners and naturalists, passing on to French scientific explorers and British surveyors naturalists, and explorers, continuing through a variety of investigations in marine science and research in biogeography and evolution carried out by foreign expeditions and Australian field-workers, and culminating in the transformation of scientific investigations as a result of the rise and development of modern ecological science in the second half of the twentieth century. This development of science at Shark Bay is considered in light of existing frameworks for the development or spread of science in Australia, and in relation to current literature concerning the development or emergence of ecology in Australia. After evaluating the history of science at Shark Bay relative to existing knowledge of the spread of science and the emergence of ecology, the thesis concludes by proposing a new framework for the development of science and the emergence of ecology based on the experience at Shark Bay and with wider application to the history of science in Western Australia.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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