Ines Lange

University of Exeter


My research examines the effects of bleaching and seabird-derived nutrients on coral reef growth and erosion.

The production and maintenance of a complex reef structure supports many critical functions of a healthy coral reef, including habitat provision to marine organisms, dissipation of wave energy and sediment supply to islands. The build-up of reef framework, or a reef’s carbonate budget, is driven by counteracting rates of calcium carbonate production (e.g., coral growth) and breakdown (e.g., bioerosion by grazing fish).

Over the last four years I studied the recovery of reef carbonate budgets following the 2015-2016 coral bleaching event and quantified local rates of coral growth and parrotfish bioerosion.

In collaboration with researchers from Lancaster and Oxford I am now also looking at the effects of seabird-derived nutrients on reef growth and sediment production. Previous research has shown that nutrients from seabird guano boost fish communities and reef recovery around islands with large seabird colonies. I am interested to find out if these benefits propagate to the provision of other functions such as reef accretion and sediment supply, closing the feedback loop from reefs to island building. This will hopefully help encouraging management actions to remove invasive rats and restore seabird populations.

The high rates of coral recruitment and rapid restoration of reef functions we currently observe across the Chagos Archipelago are a very nice surprise and imply that this remote location is showing some resilience, thus far, to ongoing ocean warming

Ines Lange


2021 Present
Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter, UK
2018 2021
Postdoctoral research associate at the University of Exeter, UK
2017 2018
Project leader at the Institute for Fish and environment (FIUM), Rostock, Germany
2012 2016
Ph.D. candidate and researcher at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen, Germany
2010 2012
MSc. Marine Biology at the University of Bremen, Germany

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

I am generally interested in the response of coral reef ecosystems to natural variability in environmental conditions and anthropogenic disturbances. To investigate these questions I look at ecological, physiological and geomorphological parameters. I love to use diving as a tool for science and am passionate about underwater photography.

My Publications

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