CBESS: Stephen Watson appointed

Stephen Watson is joining the CBESS community as a PhD student supervised by Prof. David Patterson (School of Biology, University of St Andrews), Dr Nicola Beaumont and  Dr Stephen Widdicombe (Plymouth Marine Laboratory).

Stephen WatsonStephen will be looking at the impact of climate stressors on coastal biodiversity and the associated ecosystem services

In coastal ecosystems, the major threats to biodiversity are numerous, with climate stressors being well documented as a significant threat. This project aims to assess the impact of multiple climate stressors on biodiversity and coastal ecosystem service delivery, and in turn how these impacts affect the provision of ecosystem benefits and thus human well-being. The focus of this research will be on two ecosystem services: greenhouse gas sequestration and bioremediation of waste using data from two case study areas: the Tamar and the Eden estuaries. A key final output of the research will be a robust framework linking climate stressors to ecosystem benefits and human well-being, utilising a detailed understanding of the intermediate ecosystem processes and services, and the mechanisms which link these components.system services. His PhD is funded by NERC, as part of the wider Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme incorporation with the Coastal Biodiversity Consortium (CBESS).

Prior to starting my PhD I gained an MRes in Ecosystem-Based Management of Marine Systems from the University of St Andrews conjoined with the Scottish Marine Institute (SAMS) Oban (2011-2012) and, prior to this, completed a BSc (Hons) Zoology from the University of Dundee (2007-2011). My Masters thesis involved collecting information on the linkage between phytoplankton primary production and ecological change at the seafloor by studying the resident invertebrate macrofauna from archive samples. This involved a first-ever exploration of an archived time-series collection of deep sea macrofauna specimens since the 1970’s and is therefore crucial to predicting the consequences of climate change for deep-sea biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Deep-sea invertebrate macrofauna identification included those of molluscs, crustacea, holothuroidea ophiorodea and particularly polychaetes.

For more information on Prof.  David Paterson, visit his staff profile.

For more information on Dr Nicola Beaumont, visit her staff profile.

For more information on Dr Stephen Widdicombe, visit his staff profile.