Rio Tinto Alcan support for PhD student Matthew Neave. Scholarship top-up $40 000 and project costs $35 000 over 4 four years. PhD study to build on previous studies to develop novel and innovative molecular tools for routine biological assessment of the impacts of disturbance in marine ecosystems. This work also builds on our current work on microbes by focusing on the next trophic level - mesofauna - but using study sites that are similar to those proposed for the microbial study. As part of this project the student will also study mechanisms of resistance to heavy metals and identify genetic pathways associated with resistance. These studies will provide a great opportunity to use metabolic genes and their products as environmental signaures to reduce the reliance on particulat species.