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Research & Initiatives

  • Palaeoecology and historical ecology of marine habitats

  • Coral reefs in an era of global climate change

  • Mesophotic coral ecosystems as the transition zone between shallow and deep habitats

  • Environmental regimes across wide temporal, spatial and vertical gradients

  • Ecological dynamics in marine ecosystems

Marine palaeoecology is the study of the ecology and environment of past marine ecosystems, using fossils, sediments, and other geological evidence to reconstruct the relationships between species, communities and their physical environment.

Historical ecology, on the other hand, is the study of how human activities have influenced the structure and function of ecosystems over time. This includes the examination of human-driven changes in species composition, distribution, and ecosystem processes, and the examination of how these changes have impacted the ecosystem services that sustain human societies.


Mesophotic ecosystems (meso- middle; photic- light) are marine or freshwater environments found at intermediate depths, typically between 30-150 meters. These ecosystems are often the link between shallow habitats and the deep sea and are characterized by lower light levels than shallow waters and occasionally contain specialized and rare communities of plants, animals, and other organisms adapted to the unique environmental conditions. These ecosystems play important roles in the health and functioning of larger marine and freshwater systems but are often overlooked and understudied compared to shallow water environments. Despite their significance, mesophotic ecosystems are facing increasing threats from human activities such as pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

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