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Our Beloved Bay Explored

Story: Sandgate Guide
Apr 25, 2018
Our Beloved Bay Explored
Dr Daryl McPhee is an esteemed academic, a published author, and a renowned authority on the ecology of our Moreton Bay area.

He first visited our region in 1985 as a fourteen-year-old boy, an experience that Dr McPhee describes in his recently released book ‘Environmental History and Ecology of Moreton Bay’. “Having just moved from Sydney to Brisbane and staying at a hostel for the homeless at Indooroopilly, I caught the train to Shorncliffe and saw Moreton Bay for the first time. That day changed my life. That is Moreton Bay.”

Daryl went to Sandgate District High School and spent his formative years in Shorncliffe before studying at The University of Queensland where he obtained a PhD in Biology. He still visits the area several times a year. When I spoke to Daryl, he described what it was about Moreton Bay that has maintained his attraction and interest over the years.

“It’s the bay’s natural beauty and its diversity. It’s not like anything else on the east coast.” Daryl said. “It’s a mixing area for both tropical and temperate species. It’s the southern-most limit for coral, for dugong and for humpbacks, and it’s also a home to temperate species like tailor, which migrate through from temperate waters. It has great diversity.”

Dr McPhee is currently Head of Higher Degree Research at Bond University and Director of the Commonwealth Government’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and he will be presenting a talk on the 27th May at the Sandbag Community Centre in Rainbow Street entitled “Sandgate and Beyond — The Environmental History and Ecology of Moreton Bay”.

Although he works in a world of academia, Daryl still finds great satisfaction in sharing his knowledge with the general public. “In my mind, scientific and technical information shouldn’t just be kept ‘in-house’, it should be extended to be available to the public,” Daryl says. “We should be doing work that’s meaningful to the public, and it should be able to pass the pub-test in my opinion”.

If you have an interest in the ecology of our beloved bay, then don’t miss Daryl’s talk at Sandbag on the 27th May.