Dr Viviana Brambilla








BioTIME database manager
Research assistant


I’m a marine ecologist particularly interested in dissecting the role of ecosystem engineers in ecosystem dynamics.

I joined the lab in 2016 for my PhD, where I explored patterns of ecological niche construction in coral reef ecosystems. My aim was to assess the capacity of corals, as bioengineers, to modify environmental states (such as temperature, light and flows) and evaluate how this can affect their fitness, in accordance with Niche Construction Theory. I performed coral transplant experiments to study coral phenotypic plasticity, with a particular focus on morphological traits, in order to investigate its role in niche construction patterns. As a Ian Potter Doctoral Fellow at Lizard Island I used long-term observations of coral reefs in Lizard Island (Australia) to study the relationships across coral recruitment, biodiversity and environmental niches in natural reef systems.

In March 2020, I started working for BioTIME, the biodiversity time-series database hosted at the University of St Andrews. My duties include dataset mining and curation and database routine maintenance. I also follow the development of StoryTIME, a collection of stories from scientists in the field. So if you have a time-series or stories from the field, just let me know!

Prof Maria Dornelas