Projects looking for someone to make their own:

Masters research projects

1. With shifting baselines in perceptions, understanding how coral communities are changing over time is increasingly difficult. This project will use a unique dataset from the 1970s and 2016-17 to look at drivers of coral communities and coral community shifts in the Chagos Archipelago over the last 50 years, including surveys spanning from 10m to 60m depth. The Chagos Archipelago is a marine protected area, with reefs considered some of the “least impacted” globally, making this research all the more important for studying long term change in the absence of local anthropogenic impacts. Findings from this study could help our understanding disentangling the impacts of global scale reef human stressors from local threats.

This Masters will involve:

– Digitising survey records/reports from the 1970s (!)

– Analysing more recently collected shallow and mesophotic reef surveys

– Extracting contextual data from environmental remote sensed / modelled variables

– Conducting multivariate statistics in R

This project will be supervised by Dr Michelle Taylor, with additional guidance/co-supervision provided by Dr Catherine Head (University of Oxford) and Dr Dominic Andradi-Brown (WWF-US). Email Dr Taylor for more info : michelle.taylor@essex.ac.uk

2. An octocoral nursery: Using barcoding to investigate species ID of eggs found on deep-sea octocorals

3. Are seamounts shark nursery habitats? Using video analysis to look at shark habitat in the deep sea

PhD self-funded research projects

I have a wealth of deep sea specimens and several PhD projects ready to go. At the moment these include:

Does variation microbial populations match host population connectivity in a deep sea coral?

Deep sea population genomics and seascape genomics of bivalve across the North Atlantic

A global study of deep sea connectivity of the solitary coral, Desmophyllum

Ocean-scale population genomics – from north to south Atlantic.


The above plethora of samples, with some sequencing and consumable finance, could answer are some interesting ecological questions. If you are interested in my field of research and join our lab as a postdoc here is a link to a list of fellowships: https://asntech.github.io/postdoc-funding-schemes/

Email me to discuss ideas.

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