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.