I am the Associate Head, Global Engagement and Education Partnerships within the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. I am a strong proponent of research-based teaching and have an active research programme.
My research focuses on coral reef fish ecology and the conservation and management of coral reefs and reef fisheries.
I am affiliated with the Social-Ecological Research Frontiers (SERF) Working Group – a global, multidisciplinary collaboration of ecologists and social scientists focused on coral reef conservation. My previous research includes major discoveries, such as the identification of essential nursery habitat for Atlantic cod.
My teaching modules currently include ‘Marine Organisms and Ecosystems’, and ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture’.
I graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1986 with a BSc degree in Marine Biology. In 1989, I completed a research MSc in reef fish ecology under the advisement of Professor Wayne Hunte at the Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University in Barbados. Under the advisement of Professor Robert Boutilier, I went on to complete a Ph.D. at Dalhousie University in 1994, on the recruitment of young-of-year Atlantic cod and cunner to inshore nursery habitats in Nova Scotia.
My research career has taken me around the globe, including positions at the Centre for Marine Resource Studies in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the University of Guam Marine Laboratory, the Palau International Coral Reef Centre, the WorldFish Centre, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago. I contributed to significant research on fish habitat and marine protected areas throughout the Caribbean region, the Western Pacific, Southeast Asia and North America.
I also spent 7 years in the private sector as a fisheries and marine environmental consultant, conducting environmental impact assessments of coastal developments, developing fishery management plans, and training fisheries personnel in data collection and analysis.
In 2020, I joined the University of Portsmouth where I currently hold the position of Associate Head - Global Engagement in the School of Biological Sciennces. I also serve as the Theme Lead - Aquatic Resources Management in the Centre for Blue Governance.
My research focuses on the ecology and management of demersal fishes and their habitats, with particular focus on coral reef fish and fisheries and an emphasis on early life history stages. Ongoing projects in my laboratory include:
- Impacts of mass Sargassum influxes on nursery habitats and reef fish recruitment in the Caribbean
- Effects of fishing pressure on reef fish population dynamics and life history, especially growth and maturation
- Coastal mining impacts on coral reefs and reef fisheries
- Identification and mapping of essential nursery habitats for reef fishes in the Philippines
- Dynamics of grouper spawning aggregations in Palau
I teach across a variety of undergraduate modules in Marine Biology, including ‘Marine Organisms and Ecosystems’ and ‘Fisheries and Aquaculture’. I also contribute to the Applied Aquatic Biology Masters programme.