Dr. Abbie Chapman
PhD with Amanda from 2015 - 2018
A trait-based approach to the biodiversity of deep-sea hydrothermal-vent ecosystems.
About Abbie's PhD research:
Abbie used a trait-based approach to study the biodiversity of active deep-sea hydrothermal-vent ecosystems, gaining insights relevant for broader ecology and conservation science. She characterised and scored the traits of hydrothermal-vent species relevant to their performance in deep-sea vent ecosystems and their contribution to the communities they are found in. This enabled Abbie to investigate whether rare species contributed more to the functional distinctiveness of vent communities in the Northeast Pacific Ocean than common ones, as published with Dr Amanda Bates and Prof. Verena Tunnicliffe here.
Abbie is the co-Principal Investigator of the sFDvent Working Group, funded to build a global trait database for deep-sea hydrothermal vent species. She worked with a large group of international expert collaborators to complete the first version of this database during her PhD. In addition, Abbie dipped her toes into other waters to work with Dr Craig McClain and Dr Clifton Nunnally, using traits to investigate ecological patterns in wood-fall communities, and Dr Daniel Jones and Dr Diva Amon, to review the potential environmental impacts of deep-sea mining.
Where Abbie is now:
Abbie is currently working at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL, with Dr Tim Newbold on the GCRF-funded SENTINEL project. She is working with Tim to assess the impacts of agricultural expansion on biodiversity in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zambia. These countries are aiming to become food self-sufficient in the near future (in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals) and this will likely have social and environmental trade-offs to consider to ensure the sustainability and longevity of these plans. Abbie is enjoying using the statistical approaches that she learnt with our lab in this new project.
Dr. Murray Duncan
PhD with Amanda from 2017 - 2018
A physiological study on a commercial reef fish to quantify the relationship between exploitation and climate change resilience
About Murray’s PhD Research:
Murray joined Dr. Amanda Bates and the Physiological Diversity Lab in 2017 from Rhodes University, South Africa through a Commonwealth Split-Site Fellowship. His doctoral thesis used physiological traits to quantify if protection from exploitation can promote climate change resilience of resident reef fish. For this research, he studied populations of Chrysoblephus laticeps from protected and exploited areas along South Africa’s south coast. He found that Marine Protected Areas can conserve physiological traits of exploited fish populations and potentially buffer the effects of climate change on them.
Where Murray is now:
Murray is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity and the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University. He is running research projects investigating Argyrosomus species population dynamics and physiological tolerances in Namibia and an ACEP project expanding the findings of his doctoral thesis in South Africa.
He is set to start a two-year postdoc at Stanford University split between Geological Sciences and Hopkins Marine Station under the supervision of Prof. Erik Sperling. The postdoc will more specifically test fundamental tenets of the Metabolic Index and to use the Metabolic Index to predict how future oxygen and temperature change will affect organisms and ecosystems in the California Current system.
Dr. Conor Waldock
PhD with Amanda from 2015-2019
Ecological Assemblages in a Warming Climate: Addressing Knowledge Gaps in the Role of Thermal Heterogeneity and Realised Niches at a Global Scale
About Conor’s PhD Research:
Ecological responses to Anthropogenic climate warming are occurring across the globe. The aim of Conor's thesis was to help build the requisite knowledge to describe and predict assemblage scale responses to climatic warming. During his PhD he developed a conceptual framework relating the processes of individual movements and population dynamics to the spatial and temporal dimensions of temperature change. In addition, he assessed large-scale patterns in species' realised niches across different ecological systems (from reef fish to insect assemblages) by assessing how abundance and occurrence of species varies across local and global thermal gradients.
Where Conor is now:
Conor is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) with Loïc Pellissier in the Landscape Ecology group. He is working on the Horizon 2020 Biodiversa funded project 'REEF-FUTURES' to asses ecosystem services provided by reef fishes, e.g., reef fishes provide the main source of protein for over 1 billion peoples and contribute cultural and tourism value to coastal communities. His focus is to project the future of these ecosystem services under different scenarios of global climate and socio-economic change by the year 2100.
Dr. Robert Cooke
PhD with Amanda from 2015-2019
Quantifying ecological resilience at the global scale
About Rob’s PhD Research:
There is increasing interest in how management can support ecological resilience, in order to stem the widespread loss of global biodiversity. Current attempts to quantify resilience however remain so narrow in scope or of such limited scale that their results are unlikely to counteract this loss. Rob's studentship aimed to address this by constructing a generalised resilience framework that depends upon the simultaneous measurement of multiple cross-scale indicators, which underpin two inputs of resilience: integrity (the initial state of the system) and exposure (the magnitude, frequency and structure of disturbance that the system is subject to). This research was supported by the University of Southampton and the NERC-funded SPITFIRE Doctoral Training Partnership.
Where Rob is now:
Rob is now a postdoc at the University of Gothenburg studying the the impact of humans on global patterns of bird diversity.