Earth and Environment

Environmental Geoscience


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image of deep sea coral

Our research focusses on gaining critical new insights into the ecological challenges that coral reef ecosystems and coastal environments face in a rapidly changing world.

The responses of organisms and biological processes to rapidly changing local and global environments are key issues for the sustainability of coral reefs and the ecosystem services they provide to societies and economies.

We use quantitative, process-based methods, to gain an understanding of past, present and future coral reef growth, metabolism and calcification rates in relation to changing environmental factors. This research addresses the functioning of the entire reef ecosystem, from the individual components, including reef fauna and symbiotic zooxanthella, to whole-system processes, such as how the physical and chemical oceanographic setting, affects metabolic rates from the individual coral to whole-reef scale.

Using a range of cutting-edge geochemical and chemical-physical-biological characterization techniques, our researchers investigate fundamental processes such as the role of elemental uptake pathways and photosynthetic tissues on the composition of bio-calcifying fluids and how climate change will affect bio-mineralization and hence the structure and resilience of reef systems generally. 

Research groups and projects

Our main areas of research include:

  • Calcification and ocean acidification
  • Coral bleaching and global warming
  • Coastal processes in a changing world
  • Marine biogeochemistry through time
  • Paleo-environmental and climatology of coral reef and coastal systems

Research centres

Research contacts