My research focuses on the response of corals to environmental perturbations over geological time scales. In my research, I utilise statistical tools and Earth System Modelling to improve our understanding of the environmental controls on corals and the fossil/sedimentary record, examining for potential bias in the record of coral biodiversity on Earth.
Coral Reefs & Palaeoecology
Anthropogenic climate change, with a projected global warming of 2–4.8 °C, is likely to leave coral reefs at substantial risk. The impacts of future climate change on biogeographic distribution are of notable interest. However, as modern studies are based on short-term observations, it is difficult to predict species’ responses to future climate change. The fossil record provides the only empirical evidence for the responses of organisms to environmental perturbations over geological time intervals. The Triassic/Jurassic boundary (200 Ma) is one such interval, and experienced the largest extinction of Scleractinia (stony-corals) in the history of the clade, as well as a coral reef gap ensuing for 8–10 myr in the Early Jurassic. My research explores events such as the Early Jurassic reef gap to investigate the record of coral biodiversity through time and space, as well as examining any potential bias in the fossil and sedimentary records.