I am a Professor of Marine Ecology at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU). I am leading the Animal and Plant Sciences research group and the Research Excellence Framework submission for Unit of Assessment 7. I am also ENU lead for the NERC funded Doctoral Training Partnership SUPER, and for the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS; www.masts.ac.uk) and was Co-Director of St Abbs Marine Station, 2015-2020. Before moving to Scotland, I was researcher at the Leibniz Centre of Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany, with projects in Brazil and Vietnam (2011-2006). Between 2000 and 2005 I was based in Northern Brazil as a postdoctoral fellow where I also coordinated a 10 yrs bilateral research project on Mangrove Dynamics and Management. In 2000 I gained my PhD degree in Biology at the University Bremen / ZMT, Germany. I am currently teaching in the programmes MSc - Wildlife Biology and Conservation, and BSc (Hon) Marine Freshwater Biology. Prior to ENU I lectured Marine Biology at the University of Bremen and within the programme 'International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology (ISATEC)'.
My research focuses on the dynamics, management and restoration of coastal ecosystems, on the life cycles and functional ecology of associated benthic marine invertebrates and their behavioural and physiological responses to environmental change (e.g. underwater noise, climatic stressors). I have been working in mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, rocky shores and biogenic reefs. My approach involves descriptive and experimental field and laboratory studies to answer fundamental biological and ecological questions and to deliver conservation, management and livelihood solutions.
RECENT GRANT SUCCESSES
1. 'As Good as (G)Old? Comparing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Restored and Natural Mangrove Forests in the Wallacea Region (CoReNat) - NERC 2018-2021
2. 'The Role of the Gill Microbiome in the Evolution of Terrestrialness in Brachyuran Crabs (Microlanding)' - CRG KAUST 2019 -2022
3. 'Quantifying and Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Processing of the Meat of the Brazilian Mangrove Crab Ucides cordatus and Scoping for Bioactive Compounds. Newton-Confap - 2018-2019
RECENT MEDIA OUTPUT
BBC Blue Planet UK Episode 2 (featuring our underwater noise research) and Episode 5 (featuring our animal 'personality' research).
In addition to enjoying my work with Postdoctoral Fellows, PhD, MSc and UG students, I am welcoming UK and international placement students to gain experience in our labs. For example, between 2017 and 2019 I have been accepting three students from the School of Engineering, University of Lyon, France (5 months PROMO-placements), and between 2014 and 2016 IAESTE students from ETH Zuerich, Switzerland, TU Aachen, Germany and University of Bogotá, Colombia.