1

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.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

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

3

Responding to a changing world

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

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Laura Richardson

Laura Richardson


PhD candidate


2010 - MSc Marine Environmental Protection HD: Bangor University, UK (Prof John Turner, Prof Michel Kaiser); 2003 - BA Hons Social Anthropology with Development Studies: University of Sussex, UK (Prof Elizabeth Harrison)


James Cook University



+61 7 4781 6024



PhD Candidate

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Curriculum vitae

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University
Townsville, QLD 4811
Building 32 Room 128

Laura is carrying out her PhD at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University, with Andrew Hoey, Morgan Pratchett, and Nick Graham (Lancaster University). Her PhD research looks at the role of coral community composition in mediating coral reef ecosystem structure and function. Specifically, she focusses on monospecific assemblages of stress-tolerant or weedy coral species to investigate how coral reef dynamics may shift into the future as reefs are reconfigured under current stressors. Laura is from the UK originally, and has a joint BA Hons in Social Anthropology with Development Studies (Sussex University), an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection (Bangor University), and a few years of experience working on marine spatial conservation initiatives in the Cayman Islands with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, Bangor University and The Nature Conservancy.

Project Title

Influence of coral species composition on coral reef ecosystem structure and function

Project Description

Anthropogenic stressors and climate change are causing differential loss of coral species, leading to altered coral community configurations dominated by more stress-resistant and/or weedy species. Although live coral cover and physical complexity are important determinants of fish communities, the influence of coral composition on the structure and function of reef fish assemblages remains largely unknown. This project assesses how differences in coral assemblages influence, (i) cross-scale habitat structural complexity, (ii) the functional structure of associated fish communities, and (iii) resilience to climate induced mass coral bleaching, including herbivory, a key ecosystem process.

Advisors

Andrew Hoey, Nick Graham, Morgan Pratchett

Awards

2017 Virginia Chadwick Award for publication (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08109-4)

James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (PhD): 2014-2017

National Environment Research Council (NERC) Scholarship (MSc): 2009-2010

Grants

Higher Degree by Research, ARC Centre of Excellence and JCU (AUD 1555.00): 2016

Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) (GBP 1000.00): 2017

Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) (GBP 1000.00): 2016

Australian Coral Reef Society (AUD 500.00): 2016

ARC Centre of Excellence Travel Bursary (AUD 1000.00): 2016

Higher Degree by Research, ARC Centre of Excellence and JCU (AUD 1660.00): 2015

Journal articles

Richardson L, Graham N, Hoey A (2017) Cross-scale structural complexity driven by coral species composition on tropical reefs. Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08109-4 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-08109-4

Richardson L, Graham N, Pratchett M, Hoey A (2017) Structural complexity mediates functional structure of fish assemblages among coral habitats. Environmental Biology of Fishes doi:10.1007/s10641-016-0571-0 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10641-016-0571-0

Richardson L, Graham N, Pratchett M, Eurich J, Hoey A (in press) Mass coral bleaching causes biotic homogenization of reef fish assemblages. Global Change Biology.

Non-refereed publications

Turner J, McCoy C, Richardson L, Mortimer C (2014) Darwin post-project EIDPO045: Assuring engagement in Cayman’s enhanced marine protected area system. 1st Annual Report.

Turner J, Richardson L, McCoy C (2013) Project 18-016: Darwin Initiative to Enhance an Established Marine Protected Area System, Cayman Islands. Final Project Report.

Turner J, Richardson L, McCoy C (2012) Project 18-016: Darwin Initiative to Enhance an Established Marine Protected Area System, Cayman Islands. 2nd Annual Report.

Turner J, Richardson L, McCoy C (2011) Project 18-016: Darwin Initiative to Enhance an Established Marine Protected Area System, Cayman Islands. 1st Annual Report.

Meier R, McCoy C, Richardson L, Turner J (2011)  Quantifying the impact of recreational and artisanal fisheries, in the Cayman Islands, through the use of socio-economic questionnaires. Darwin Project Interim Report.

Selected conference presentations (see CV above for full list)

Richardson L, Hoey A, Graham N (2017). Cross-scale habitat structure driven by coral species composition on tropical reefs. Oral presentation at the Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) 90th annual meeting, Townsville, Australia.

Richardson L, Graham N, Pratchett M, Hoey A (2016). Structural complexity mediates functional structure of fish assemblages among coral habitats. Oral presentation at Reef Conservation UK (RCUK) 19th annual meeting, London, UK.

Richardson L, Graham N, Pratchett M, Hoey A (2016). Structural complexity mediates functional structure of fish assemblages among coral habitats. Oral presentation at the International Conference for Reef Studies (ICRS) 13th annual meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Richardson L, Hoey A, Pratchett M, Graham N (2015). Variation in the functional structure of fish assemblages among different coral habitats. Oral presentation at the Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) 89th annual meeting, Daydream Island, Australia.

Richardson L, McCoy C, Ebanks-Petrie G, Austin T, Olynik J, Byrne J, Turner J (2013) Cayman Islands Marine Protected Areas, enhancing a 27 year legacy. Oral presentation at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) 66th annual meeting, Corpus Christi, USA.

Richardson L, McCoy C, Turner J (2013) Estimating marine reserve effects through quantification of macroalgal biomass on a central Caribbean coral reef. Poster presentation at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) 66th annual meeting, Corpus Christi, USA.

Committees

Co-chair student committee International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS): 2016-present

Co-chair student committee ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies: 2015-present

Seminars

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Partner Research Institutions

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au