Changes in local climatic conditions that cause ecosystem change is often recognised by a change in the stability of producers and consumers. A dominant component of tropical marine reef systems are algal turfs, which are recognised for their trophic importance as a main source of primary productivity. Coral reefs around the globe are experiencing ecological shifts to algal dominated ecosystems due to rising temperatures and enhanced availability of nutrients in the form of inorganic carbon (CO2). Herbivores play a vital role in ecosystem stability and resistance by grazing on this algae, though under current conditions, grazing provides a compensatory mechanism which could be masking the true scale of the disturbance being caused by this increased algae on the reefs.
My research in this area aims to gain a better understanding of how ocean acidification and warming may alter reef systems in Hong Kong. I am assessing the physiological response of sea urchin and gastropod species to altered conditions, by researching how metabolic and feeding rates are altered in response to multi-stressor conditions. Whether they can acclimate to these conditions will determine their functional role in Hong Kong in the future.
2015: Bachelor of Science (Honours): Environmental Science, University of Plymouth, UK
2013: Foundation Degree: Zoological Conservation, University of Plymouth, Cornwall College Newquay, UK
2013: University of Plymouth Student of the Year Award for Cornwall Colleges