Dr Dominic Andradi-Brown
My D.Phil. focused on fish populations in mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). MCEs occur in tropical regions extending from depths of 30 m to approx. 150 m, and are often connected to shallow coral reef ecosystems, where it is suggested they provide an important reservoir of recruits for coral and fish populations. Their importance to overall reef resilience in the face of human disturbances such as overfishing is largely unknown and there is a lack of evidence for whether fish populations on shallow coral reefs and adjacent MCEs are connected.
My D.Phil. addressed this important information gap by using advanced diving technologies coupled with a newly developed stereo-video system methodology to:
(i) understand fish community ecological processes on MCEs
(ii) evaluate effective survey techniques for MCE fish research
(iii) explore the role of MCEs in the western Atlantic lionfish invasion
My D.Phil. was funded by a Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) Ph.D. Studentship with fieldwork support from Operation Wallacea. The majority of my D.Phil fieldwork was carried out on the reefs of Utila, Honduras, on the southern Mesoamerican Reef. In addition, during my D.Phil. I took part in the 2016 and 2017 Bertarelli Foundation Chagos Archipelago reef survey expeditions.