Shifts in the ecological communities structuring coral reefs are occurring in response to the unprecedented levels of thermal stress reefs now experience with increasing frequency. We need to understand how coral reefs respond to these pressures over longer time-scales relevant to ecological and geological processes, and this is the aim of my project within the Indian Ocean region.
We plan to integrate long-term monitoring datasets with data collected using recent and newly emerging techniques. This will enable new insights into the physical drivers of patterns in coral reef resilience and recovery from thermal stress. Obtaining detailed site-specific benthic data also allows us to examine relationships moving up the food web into coral reef fish communities.
This is an exciting and critical time in coral reef science, and the challenges facing reefs require both multi-disciplinary collaboration and novel thinking in the search for solutions.
Coral Reef ResilienceMonitoring Coral Reefs in the Indian Ocean
I am interested in the study of reefs as socio-ecological systems and in finding ways to work with local communities that depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods. This aims to increase well being and protect the benefits gained from functioning reef systems. Recently I have led projects in the Philippines and Vanuatu, and will be participating in a project to improve livelihoods in Santiago Island, Cabo Verde.