Dr Maria Dornelas:
MASTS Lecturer

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 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).


My research interests fall under the disciplines of community ecology, macroecology and biogeography. I'm interested in quantifying biodiversity and in understanding the processes that shape it. I believe understanding how different ecological processes affect biodiversity patterns is fundamental for sustainable management and conservation. I usually study coral communities, but I have also worked with mangrove crabs, plants and tropical freshwater fish, for example. I am increasingly interested in synthesis work, combining data from multiple sources, and I am planning to extend my research into eco-informatics. I like to combine ecological theory, quantitative analysis and fieldwork in my research, and some of the questions I’m interested in are:

- Which ecological processes affect species coexistence?

- Are there general effects of disturbance on community structure?

- How does dispersal limitation affect biodiversity patterns?

- Quantifying intra- and inter-specific, morphological, demographic and/or functional diversity

Currently I am involved in projects in coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Vamizi (Mozambique) and freshwater fish in Trinidad (Caribbean).

If you are interested in the research that I do, and would like to explore potential PhD or master projects please send me an email.

source: symbiosis

Recent Publications:

Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
Álvarez-Noriega, M, Baird, AH, Bridge, TCL, Dornelas, M, Fontoura, L, Pizarro, O, Precoda, K, Torres-Pulliza, D, Woods, RM, Zawada, K & Madin, JS 2018, 'Contrasting patterns of changes in abundance following a bleaching event between juvenile and adult scleractinian corals' Coral Reefs, vol 37, no. 2, pp. 527-532. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-018-1677-y
Alvarez-Noriega, M, Baird, AH, Dornelas, M, Madin, JS & Connolly, SR 2018, 'Negligible effect of competition on coral colony growth' Ecology, vol 99, no. 6, pp. 1347-1356. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2222
House, JE, Brambilla, V, Bidaut, LM, Christie, AP, Pizarro, O, Madin, JS & Dornelas, M 2018, 'Moving to 3D: relationships between coral planar area, surface area and volume' PeerJ, vol 6, e4280. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4280
Santini, L, Belmaker, J, Costello, MJ, Pereira, HM, Rossberg, AG, Schipper, AM, Ceaușu, S, Dornelas, M, Hilbers, JP, Hortal, J, Huijbregts, MAJ, Navarro, LM, Schiffers, KH, Visconti, P & Rondinini, C 2017, 'Assessing the suitability of diversity metrics to detect biodiversity change' Biological Conservation, vol 213, no. Part B, pp. 341-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.024