Hi, I am Nora, a marine ecologist and PhD student with keen interest in kelp forest community structure. I am based at the Marine Biology Association in Plymouth in Dan Smale’s group (BEECH – Benthic Ecosystems and Environmental Change) and a student of the University of Southampton (INSPIRE DTP, cohort 1).
My research is focused on the effects of climate change stressors (especially ocean warming) on foundation species such as kelps and their associated flora and fauna community. I will explore resulting physiological responses of kelp to changing conditions on both individuals and population based levels, as well as the impacts on the entire ecosystems.
During my first year I collected data of the understudied kelp Sacchoriza polyschides (commonly known as ‘Furbellows’), which is a warm-temperate kelp and might expand its distribution range in the NE Atlantic and increase its population size due to ocean warming. This year, I will start multifactorial mesocosm experiments with “global warming winner” vs. “global warming loser” species. I am also very interested in ecosystem services and the value kelps provide for the ecosystem, the environment and our society.
In 2018 I graduated from the University of Rostock, Germany, in Marine Biology (MSc) after completing Biological Science (BSc) in 2015. My master thesis focused on effects of ocean warming on grazer-algae interactions as part of the GAME project (collaboration with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany, and the Universidad Católica del Norte in Coquimbo, Chile). You can read a blog post about my part within the GAME project here.
I have practical experience from several sea-going scientific expeditions (North Sea and Baltic Sea) as well as working experience (field and lab based) in Chile, Canada and New Zealand.
I graduated with a degree in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh before completing a Masters of Resource Management (Coastal and Marine Resources) at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Isafjodur, Iceland. My Masters thesis was an examination of the relationship between owner-skippers and their fishing capital in the Scottish demersal fishery. I used semi-structured interviews to explore questions surrounding the national and privatised ownership of fishing quota and the socio-economic effects of the quota system in Scotland.
I am now working on my PhD at UEA, entitled: The Future Governance of ‘Blue’ Common Pool Resources: What do Fisheries and ‘Blue’ Carbon have in Common? An International Framework.
I am in my 2nd year at the time of enviroSPRINT. The project is embedded within the ARIES doctoral training programme and is in partnership with CEFAS (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science).
My PhD project: aims to bring the emerging natural resource of marine carbon to life. The ecosystem service provided by natural carbon sequestration and storage in shelf seas has the potential to be utilised in climate change mitigation strategies in ways similar to other natural stores of carbon such as rain forests and coastal Blue Carbon. By researching the hypothetical governance and management of this potential marine carbon resource, I hope to inform policymakers on whether and how the resource can be utilised and governed to help combat climate change.
As such, my research interests centre on the following fields: environmental governance (especially marine and fisheries), blue carbon, carbon economics, political ecology, theoretical geography, commons studies, environmental philosophy, and natural resource management.
The chosen project research methods focus on social and qualitative methods, including expert consultation (Interviewing, Q-Methodology), Stakeholder Mapping and Scenarios Analysis.
Alongside my project, I am the co-editor of the DTP’s student-led blog – SciEnvy – to which I am a regular contributor. This involves managing the blog’s social media (@scienvy), encouraging other students to write for the blog, copy-editing, running the website, and writing.
Beth is a PhD student at Bangor University, studying deep water communities on the west coast of Hawai`i.
She is interested in differences between biomass, abundance and community composition of micronekton (fish, shrimp and squid ranging between 2-20cm) nearshore and offshore, in the mesopelagic zone, between 200-1000m deep.
Beth collaborated on an animation of her research with animator Mair Perkins, which has featured in several science film festivals worldwide.
Beth is currently working in collaboration with NOAA, looking at near-island enhancement in mesopelagic micronekton communities
Through her research she hopes to show how seemingly spatially distant habitats link together as an interconnected marine ecosystem, and the importance of this in our changing world.
Beth’s research is funded as part of the Envision Doctoral Training Programme.