Bayden D. Russell
BSc, 1997 (Zoology, University of Queensland, Australia); BSc (Honours), 1999 (Zoology, University of Queensland, Australia); Ph.D. 2005 (Marine Ecology, University of Adelaide, Australia)
Bayden D. Russell is an Associate Professor in the Area of Ecology & Biodiversity and the Associate Director of the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong.
Throughout his career, Bayden has followed his passion for understanding how human activities affect marine ecosystems. After exploring effects of eutrophication and climate change in the kelp forests of southern Australia (at the University of Adelaide) for over a decade, Bayden undertook an Advanced Visiting Researcher Fellowship to Xiamen University, China, in 2014. It was during this time that he realized the world’s biggest problems need to be tackled in regions with rapidly growing coastal populations, development of megacities, and a desperate need for solutions-focused research. In 2015, Bayden moved to Hong Kong where he developed a research program that informs culturally sensitive solutions to human impacts in coastal marine ecosystems, focusing on adaptation to climate change (in both human and ecological systems) and ecosystem restoration (oyster reefs).
Bayden is dedicated to building community; through education, public outreach, and academic service. In pursuit of this, Bayden has supervised over 20 graduate and 50 undergraduate research students, and has had several hundred high school students involved in his oyster reef restoration research. Broader outreach is achieved through workshops developed with The Nature Conservancy. Bayden is a founding member of the Hong Kong Marine Ecological Association (www.oystersos.org/about-hkmea) and first Chair of their Scientific Research Committee, he also leads the Hong Kong node of international research networks (www.ukna.asia/river-cities; www.shimoda.tsukuba.ac.jp/~icona/). He is involved with the publishing community, authoring over 110 peer-reviewed publications, and as an EiC (OMBAR) and on Editorial boards (GCB).
I have always felt that scientific societies provide the venue (both virtual and physical) to meet with colleagues, students, and community partners – meetings are a melting pot of ideas and inspiration and the only way that we can solve the “wicked problems” that our oceans face.
I began my research career in Australia, and my scientific “home” was the Australian Marine Sciences Association – I was an active member for over a decade and served on the National Council for a term of 3 years. Compared to that, I am new to ASLO but feel I’ve found a second home within its supportive community and diverse networks. My decision to join the association was motivated, in part, by my respect for and support of the high scientific standard shown by ASLO, both in the society and its journals. In addition, I am constantly impressed with the range of ASLO’s education activities and diversity of the community that it engages. As a member of the Board, not only would I work to raise the profile of ASLO and its activities to the scientific community of the East and South-East Asian region, but I would bring my experience of living and working immersed in Asian cultures, particularly that of southern China, to the ASLO Board.
The COVID pandemic was (and is) a global tragedy and crisis for billions of people. Yet, it was through this adversity that we expanded our technical capabilities to move closer toward becoming a global community. A large part of maintaining and enhancing this global community will be to integrate virtual and physical meetings and activities to provide opportunities for the diverse membership of our society; from all career stages, geographic locations, financial situations, and cultural backgrounds. Part of what I will strive for if I am elected to the ASLO Board will be to ensure that these opportunities are designed for, and sensitive to Asia’s cultures, geography, and unique ecosystems. ASLO has embraced the diversity of aquatic systems and disciplines necessary to address complex questions and support the diversity of cultures which rely on the world’s oceans – this is one of its great strengths. But, Asia is currently underrepresented in ASLO membership – I want to find out why and help change that. I was a founding member of the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Science Gender Committee. In my service on the committee, I realized that policies need to be sensitive to cultural views and traditions or they will not be engaged with or taken up. Importantly, I then also experienced the development of such informed policies and witnessed their success. Consequently, I would like to help ASLO continue to serve its current members while also increasing engagement with researchers in East and South-East Asia to ensure that our society continues to embrace the diverse cultures of aquatic scientists worldwide.