2018-05-10 Lord Howe Island 085.jpg



Peter (“Petey”) completed his BSc in Zoology and Archaeology at La Trobe University. With experience working on a variety of marine conservation programs from turtles to dolphins to penguins, Peter moved to Tasmania for his Honours in 2017 to join Adrift Lab where he investigated the sub-lethal (invisible) impacts of ingested plastic on Tasmanian and Lord Howe Island shearwaters. Specifically, he looked at the nutritional composition of fledgling shearwaters, using fatty acids as a tool to assess bird health in relation to plastic load.


After receiving first class Honours, Peter joined the 2018 field team on Lord Howe Island where he collected preliminary data for his PhD, and came face-to-face with the grim reality of society’s plastic obsession. Over the past two years, Peter has been awarded numerous grants worth more than $15k: Australian Geographic, Australian Wildlife Society, BirdLife Australia, Holsworth Foundation, and Living Ocean.

Peter is excited to have one of his papers from his Honours accepted for publication!

Puskic, P, Lavers, JL, Adams, LA, Grünenwald, M, Hutton, I, and Bond, AL. 2019. Uncovering the sub-lethal impacts of plastic ingestion by shearwaters using fatty acid analysis. Conservation Physiology: 7.

Puskic, P, Lavers, JL, Adams, LA, and Bond, AL. in review. Ingested plastic and trace element concentrations in Short-tailed Shearwaters.

Peter was awarded a ‘Breaking Barriers’ travel scholarship to present his Honours research:

Puskic, P, Lavers, JL, Adams, LA, Grünenwald, M, Hutton, I, and Bond, AL. 2018. Shearwater sentinels: Using fatty acids to explore the sub-lethal impacts of plastic ingestion. Victorian Biodiversity Conference, Melbourne, 6-7 February 2018.

Peter was also selected to be the University of Tasmanian student representative for the Australian Ally Conference in Perth, 27-28 September 2018. He received a full travel scholarship.

If that wasn’t enough for 2018, in November Peter won the UTAS Mt Nelson Leadership Award