Dr Maria Dornelas









I am a Reader. I have a BSc from the Universidade de Lisboa, and a PhD from James Cook University.


My research focuses on quantifying biodiversity and understanding the processes that shape it. I often work on tropical systems and specifically coral reefs, but I also work with tropical freshwater fish, mangrove crabs and plants for example, as I am more question-driven that organism-driven. I like to combine ecological theory, synthesis of existing data, and fieldwork (preferably in exotic places!) in my research, and most of the research questions I’m interested in fall under the disciplines of community ecology, macroecology and biogeography. I tend to work on intermediate spatio-temporal scales (that is communities and networks of communities over time-scales of years to tens of years).

Some questions I am interested in include:

How has global biodiversity changed in the past century?

What are the causes and consequences of species spatial distributions for coexistence?

How do coral species differ in their demographic rates?


Current students

Ph.D. Students
Laura Antão
Kyle Zawada
Viviana Brambilla
Jessica Haghkerdar
Gergana Daskalova
Conor Waldock

Masters and Honours Students

Natasha Hunt
Sophie Johnston