Tropical coral reefs represent one of the most important, iconic and diverse marine ecosystems, supporting a variety of human needs, from fisheries and tourism to shoreline protection. Unfortunately, coral reefs are in crisis from a combination of the effects of climate change and direct man-made pressure.
Deep reefs can harbour unique biodiversity and may provide a refuge from the effects of increased temperature for shallow-water coral reef species. However, mesophotic reefs being relatively unexplored, data on the distribution and diversity of these reefs are lacking on both a regional and global scale.
It is critical that we increase our understanding of mesophotic reefs and their role in supporting shallow-water coral reefs. I will be assessing the genetic connectivity of sessile reef species across the depth gradient from shallow to mesophotic depths to determine the potential of mesophotic reefs to resupply shallow reefs with larvae following mortality.
Mesophotic coral ecosystems are truly fascinating. They are relatively unexplored and we have so much to learn about their diversity and ecology.
Sentinel Species ResearchReef Manta Rays in the British Indian Ocean Territory
Coral Reef ResilienceMesophotic Reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territory
Coral Reef ResilienceInternal Waves as an Oceanographic Driver of Ecosystem Variability
Alongside my work in BIOT, I am interested in how patterns of species diversity and population connectivity vary with depth in the deep sea. I am also involved in the use of molecular and modelling techniques to inform conservation and management of the marine environment.