People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

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Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Contribution of benthic biodiversity to ecosystem process and functioning


4.00pm - 5.00pm Monday, 26 July 2010

DB.017 Room 101 Townsville videolinked to A21.001 Cairns, JCU
Dr Martin Solan, University of Aberdeen, UK

Dr. Martin Solan is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. He received a BSc. Hons in Marine and Environmental Biology from tshe University of St. Andrews and a Ph.D. in Zoology for work on benthic monitoring using sediment profile imaging from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

His research focuses on the use of manipulative laboratory and field experiments to understand the functional role of benthic invertebrates and the consequences of biodiversity loss in marine sediment systems. His publications include contributions inNature, Science, Nature Microbial Reviews, TREE, PLOS One and Proceedings of the Royal Society and he has edited several theme sections in Marine Ecology Progress Series. He is a subject editor for Marine Biology Research, Oikos and PLOS One and has reviewed scientific proposals for NSF (USA), NERC (UK), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Royal Society (UK), The Royal Society of New Zealand, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, The Swiss National Science Foundation and the European Commission.

He is on the NERC review panel and is currently a member of the marine working group within NERCs biodiversity research theme. As a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Sustainable Marine Bioresources at DEFRA and as a board member of the Coastal theme within MASTS (Marine Alliance for Science and Technology, Scotland), he has also reviewed and provided opinion on national research strategy. He has been an active member of several biodiversity related workshops and networks, including NCEAS (USA) and Imperial College (UK) working groups, and is the Chair of the forthcoming World Conference on Marine Biodiversity.

Recently, he has been recognised as as an “international leading researcher” and has accepted an unsolicited scholarship to James Cook University in Queensland, the University of Tasmania and the University of Western Australia from the Australian National Network in Marine Science (ANNiMS). Most of his past and current work has been funded by NERC.


Marine benthic ecology and the use of imaging technology to evaluate invertebrate activity and behaviour. This includes the use of manipulative laboratory and field experiments to understand species interactions; the use of sediment profile imaging (SPI) to characterise, in-situ, the functional role of invertebrate species below the sediment-water interface; the use of tracers to determine the rate and magnitude of macro-invertebrate bioturbation; the development of concepts of biodiversity and ecosystem function in marine sediment systems; and the use of time lapse and real time data acquisition for the study of temporal changes in invertebrate behaviour.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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