Dr Ryan Heneghan

Dr Ryan Heneghan


The University of Queensland

I am a biological oceanographer, with an interest in how oceanographic processes structure planktonic ecosystems.

My research has focused on how flow regimes, boundary currents, eddies and upwelling events drive changes in the biomass, species distribution and size structure of zooplankton communities. In addition, I have extensive experience working with satellite data and numerical model output.

My current research focus is to quantify how the size, abundance and biomass of zooplankton and fish change across local, regional and global scales. By quantifying the size-based ecosystem through modelling and observations, we can better understand processes such as metabolism, predation or movement, which constrain the role of an individual in its food web. In particular, the biomass and size distribution of zooplankton is poorly understood relative to phytoplankton and fish in our oceans, yet it is critical to understanding the efficiency of energy transfer through to fisheries.


  • Biological Oceanography
  • Plankton Ecology
  • Size Spectra
  • Biogeography
  • Open Data Science


  • PhD in Estuarine Ecology, 2007

    The University of New South Wales

  • BEnvSci (Adv. Sci.) (Hons) in Marine Biology, 2002

    The University of New South Wales