Abstract. Shallow-water seascapes are composed of a mosaic of different habitats (e.g. coral reef, seagrass beds, mangroves, macroalgae beds). Many reef-associated fishes use multiple habitat patches throughout their lives, yet little is known about how the spatial configuration of habitat patches (e.g. size, proximity) can affect reef fishes or the ecological processes to which they contribute. At a time when coastal habitats are being increasingly degraded, expanding research to encompass the broader seascape is vital. This project will use the conceptual framework of landscape ecology to investigate how seascape structure can affect fish communities and ecological processes on coral reefs.
Biography. Katie hails from the UK where she developed her passion for the marine environment at a young age. She began diving as soon as she was able and spent many happy, if cold, weekends exploring the underwater seascapes of the south coast of England. Katie completed a BSc in Marine Biology & Zoology at Bangor University, Wales in 2013. On completion, she was employed by the university to work on a project about non-native marine species. In 2014, Katie was awarded an Endeavour Scholarship to undertake a Masters in Marine Biology & Ecology at James Cook University. During her MSc, Katie completed two projects – one examining coral recovery following Cyclone Yasi and the second exploring how reef fishes respond to the habitat boundary between reefs and sand. For her PhD project, Katie is investigating how the seascape structure surrounding reefs can influence fish communities and ecological processes on reefs, under the supervision of Dr Andrew Hoey, Dr Mary Bonin and Professor Serge Andréfouët.