Eleanor VaughanPhD student, Associate Lecturer
Ellie is a PhD student studying coral reef ecology at Lancaster Environment Centre. She is interested in the biological responses of coral reef ecosystems to multiple local and global anthropogenic drivers over a range of biological, spatial and temporal scales, as this provides a more holistic understanding of how natural biophysical relationships can be altered by additional drivers. Through her undergraduate and Masters degrees and internships at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology and the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Israel, she has previously studied the physiological responses of marine invertebrates (primarily reef-building corals) to the effects of climate change and ocean acidification, as well as how these drivers indirectly affect species interactions, and how these synergistic impacts can have severe consequences for ecosystems, such as shifts in community dynamics and biogeographic ranges.
Nutrient impacts on coral reefs captured through macroalgal isotopes
Professor Nick Graham (Lancaster Environment Centre)
Dr Gareth Williams (Bangor University)
Professor Phil Barker (Lancaster Environment Centre)
As part of her PhD research, Ellie is investigating the impacts of nutrient enrichment from coastal runoff on tropical coral reef ecosystems, and how the spatio-temporal variability in nutrient regimes in these reefs can be quantified. To achieve this, she will be using a multidisciplinary approach by assessing the cost-effectiveness of different bioindicators for capturing nutrient regimes, and conduct comparative studies using a combination of historical data, manipulative field and laboratory experiments, and environmental modelling. By combining these methods, she hopes to gain a more mechanistic understanding of how excessive nutrient loads can drive these ecosystems to a tipping point and undergo a phase shift from a coral-dominated to a macroalgal-dominated reef.
Laboratory and fieldwork demonstrating for undergraduate LEC modules
MRes Marine Biology (Plymouth University, Marine Biological Association): 2014-2015
BSc (Hons) Marine Biology (Plymouth University): 2011-2014