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Dr. Richard Zavalas

Research Fellow

Biography and research interests

Richard's career focus has straddled both marine mapping research and industry based projects as an environmental scientist and commercial diver.


Within the Deakin Marine Mapping Group Richards research focuses on surveying and classifying seafloor habitats and relating physical seafloor structure to the spatial ecology of marine fishes and benthic biota. Richard completed his bachelor and honours degree in Environmental Science (Marine Biology) at Deakin University. And has since completed his PhD in 2018 with the Deakin Marine Mapping Group based at Warrnambool, Victoria. Richard's PhD focused on investigating the spatial ecology of fish in Victoria's Marine Protected Areas network. In the course of this research Richard completed extensive Baited Underwater Video surveys of Victorian marine parks in conjunction with Parks Victoria and Deakin University.

Richard has worked on a range of major marine based projects in Victoria. Including deep reef environmental surveys and Wave Buoy maintenance for the PoM and offshore environmental monitoring programs for the Victorian Desalinisation Plant. Installation of renewable wave power technologies in southwestern Victoria and subtidal reef monitoring for Parks Victoria along the breadth of the Victorian coastline. 

Richards field based experience has centred around surveying nearshore marine habitats using a range of techniques including tow video, baited underwater video, scientific diving and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). This includes scientific diving and commercial diving operations in accordance with AS/NZS2299.1. Richard’s commercial certifications and licenses include ADAS Part 2 SSBA Commercial Diver, Confined Space Certification, C6 crane and medium-rigid truck licenses.


Research Highlights

Zavalas, R., Ierodiaconou, D., Ryan, D., Rattray, A. and Monk, J., 2014. Habitat classification of temperate marine macroalgal communities using bathymetric LiDAR.Remote Sensing, 6(3), pp.2154-2175.

Zavalas, R., Pritchard, K. and O’Donnell. (2015). Six Year Post Construction Survey of Deep Reef Habitat at the Entrance of Port Phillip Bay. Report to Port of Melbourne Corporation. Professional Marine Science Services in collaboration with Cardno Ecology Lab. Report no. PMSS-0136. Melbourne. 

Edmunds M, Stewart K, Prichard K and Zavalas R (2011) Victorian subtidal reef monitoring program: reef biota within the Twofold Shelf Bioregion. Parks Victoria Technical Series No. 68.Parks Victoria, Melbourne.

Carnell, P., Ewers, C., Rochelmeyer, E., Zavalas, R., Hawke, B., Ierodiaconou, D., Sanderman, J. and Macreadie, P., (2015). The Distribution and Abundance of ‘Blue Carbon’within Port Phillip and Westernport. Deakin University, Melbourne.

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