Chris Perry Ph.D.

University of Exeter


My research addresses fundamental questions about the response of coral reefs and reef islands to environmental and climatic change, with a major focus on quantifying rates of coral reef calcification and sediment generation.

My current research in Chagos is focused on quantifying the biological carbonate budgets of reefs in different habitats around the archipelago. I am continuing research aimed at understanding the dynamics of reef budget change and recovery post-bleaching, but am also now strongly focused on exploring the sedimentary links between the reefs and low-lying islands, and the potential for rat eradication to enhance reef-building and island sediment supply. Central to this research continues to be the collection of novel empirical data on area-specific rates of coral and coralline algae calcification, and on biological erosion – metrics that are essential for improving budget calculations.

In an era of rapidly changing marine environmental conditions, there is an urgent need to better understand and predict how rates of reef-building and sediment supply may change – quantifying the rates at which reef taxa produce and erode calcium carbonate provide us with a powerful tool for measuring these functions.

Chris Perry


2011 Present
Professor in Tropical Coastal Geoscience, University of Exeter
2008 2011
Professor, School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University
2004 2008
Reader, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University
1997 2004
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University

My Project

  • Island Reef Connections
    Implications of Nutrient Flow and Feedback Across the Seabird-Island-Reef System
  • Island Reef Connections
    Monitoring Coral Reefs in the Indian Ocean

Other interests

My wider research agenda addresses fundamental questions about how different types of coral reef systems and reef islands are responding to environmental and climatic change, but most especially the impacts on rates of coral reef carbonate production and sediment generation. I am interested in these topics because these processes control coral reef growth rates and are integral to the role that reefs play in coastal protection, and fundamentally control the resilience of reef islands and their ability to track rising sea levels.

My Publications

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