PhD students

rainbow-surveyName: Liz Morris-Webb

Thesis title: Understanding intertidal collection activities in Wales

Supervisors: Prof Stuart Jenkins, Dr Freya St John (School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University)

Start date: October 2016

Funding: : Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2)

Contact: / 

My PhD will focus on one of my personal passions, beach foraging.  At the moment there are at least 42 marine taxa collected from our Welsh shores, with uses from food, to fertilisers, to fuel. Surprisingly very little research has been undertaken into shoreline harvesting activity locally. No research has focused on the social and heritage values of these activities   My work focuses on what gathering from the seashore really means to the collectors of Wales. I am also interested in teasing natural from anthropogenic disturbance on the rocky shore.


I am constantly striving to explore new opportunities that will actively contribute to the sustainable use of the marine environment whilst building on my existing knowledge and experience.  My PhD will achieve this by pursuing research interests developed on several previous commercial projects.  Prior to joining Stuart’s research team at Bangor I have 11 years’ experience as a Director, marine consultant and subtidal ecologist (specialising in scientific dive and video survey) at Marine Ecological Solutions Ltd. This project is a Marine EcoSol funded KESS 2 PhD.


andre-pardalName: André Pardal-Souza


Thesis: Integration of ecological processes over different spatial scales: an intertidal predator-prey system

Supervisor: Ronaldo Chrostofoletti ( Federal University of São Paulo State – UNIFESP, Brazil);  Stuart Jenkins (Bangor University)

Start Date: July 2016




My PhD research will focus on understanding how physical and biotic factors that emerge at different spatial scales regulate the population structure of intertidal species as well as their interaction . As a study model, I will use a predator whelk (Stramonita haemastoma) and its prey (mussels and barnacles) in the intertidal rocky coast of southwest Atlantic.

DavideDeBattistiName: Davide DeBattisti

Thesis: Biodiversity and the resilience of salt marsh ecosystems to climate change

Supervisor: John Griffin, Mike Fowler (Swansea University); Stuart Jenkins (Bangor University)

Start Date: March 2015

FundingSêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment


I will investigate how biodiversity affects the resilience of salt marshes under climate change, within the RESILCOAST cluster. In my PhD, I will use both large-scale field observations and manipulative experiments in order to understand how the structure of ecological communities is linked to resilience processes. Specifically, I will investigate how the diversity and composition of plant communities influences their capacity to resist and recover from storm events.

Name: MaMauriciouricio H. Orostica Vega

Thesis: Range edge effects on population dynamics of two congeneric limpet species in North-West Europe.

Supervisors: Stuart Jenkins and Steve Hawkins.

Start Date: October 2014

Funding: National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT, Chilean government).;

My research interests are focused on intertidal ecology, particularly on the processes as well as mechanisms that affect the intertidal landscape at small spatial scale. My PhD project is about ecological interactions between two congeneric limpet species in north-west Europe. Patella species play a key role in intertidal patch dynamics and have been proposed as possible climate warming indicators. The northern limpet P. vulgata and the southern limpet P. depressa, overlap in their distribution across the British Isles and despite having different large-scale geographic distributions, these patellid species coexist at small spatial scales. I will conduct manipulative experiments on the rocky shores of British Isles over the next few years to examine the mechanisms that allow coexistence between both these intertidal gastropods.


Name: Mollie Duggan-Edwards

Thesis: Ecological resilience and state shifts in coastal salt marshes

Supervisors: Martin Skov, Angus Garbutt, Stuart Jenkins

Start Date: July 2015

Funding: Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment

I am doing a PhD with RESILCOAST on the patterns, causes and forecasting of regime shifts in salt marshes. My PhD addresses a global need for empirical environmental research to identify common traits and system-specific drivers, as well as thresholds and mechanisms leading to state shifts and resilience in salt marshes. It aims to:

  1. Identify large-scale decadal patterns of marsh erosion and expansion across multiple sites in the UK by use of historic aerial photos and ordnance survey maps.
  2. Establish large- to medium-scale environmental drivers of the observed salt marsh changes by use of environmental data (salinity, sediment type, wave exposure, suspended particulate matter, elevation, marsh morpho-type etc.).
  3. Identify which environmental contexts make salt marshes most vulnerable to undergoing sudden and dramatic shifts in area extent.
  4. Examine if regime shifts can be forecasted from changes in vegetation patch-size distribution (by adopting the critical slowing down approach).
  5. Investigate the resilience traits of salt marsh species (by establishing the erosion thresholds of vegetation in flume experiments).

harryName:   Harry Goudge

Thesis Title:   Do artificial structures facilitate the spread of marine invasive non-native species?

Supervisors:   Professor Stuart Jenkins & Dr Andy Davies (School of Oceans Sciences); Liz Morris-Webb (Marine EcoSol Ltd).

Start Date:   October 2016

Funding:   Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2)

KESS Company Partner:   Marine EcoSol Ltd.


My PhD aims to understand the processes determining colonisation of artificial structures by Non-Native Species (NNS). Using existing NNS populations, within Welsh marinas as case studies, I will investigate which environmental factors affect colonisation and growth of NNS and other fouling species. I will use a combination of in situ surveys, settlement panels and laboratory experiments to answer the thesis question. In addition, mechanistic insight into the colonisation process will be used within a modelling framework to provide predictions of future NNS spread as well as biosecurity planning advice.