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Coral Reef Studies

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Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green

Research Associate

MSci Oceanography, Southampton University

I completed both my undergraduate and masters in Oceanography at the University of Southampton in the U.K.  Taking the opportunity to participate on research expeditions, I spent a number of weeks at sea, my final research project examining the links between biological productivity and mesoscale processes in the Atlantic Ocean.  Over the following 3 years my desire to travel lead me to work as a tidal technician in Canada, a reef researcher in the Cayman Islands, and on flood management and mitigation projects in South East Asia.  My PhD research, under the supervision of Prof Ryan Lowe, is investigating oceanic drivers of reef productivity within a remote macrotidal reef atoll, Scott Reef, which lies 270km north of Western Australia.

Project Title: Oceanic drivers of reef productivity within a macrotidal reef atoll: Scott Reef, Western Australia

Project Description: Situated in the open ocean of the Indo-Pacific, Scott Reef is a rare example of a pristine atoll, completely removed from the influence of land and associated anthropogenic influences. Little is known about the oceanography of this remote reef system, which forms part of a large group of submerged and emergent features on the Western Margin of the Oceanic Shoals Region. This project aims to identify the links between the benthic communities at Scott Reef and the oceanography of the surrounding shelf waters through a detailed study, combining historical measurements, in-situ data, and the application of numerical models. By examining the hydrodynamics and biological properties at Scott Reef, the significance of different exchange mechanisms in supporting the growth and diversity of benthic reef communities through this complex system will be determined. Using a novel and comprehensive multidisciplinary dataset, fluxes of nutrients, heat, and variability in carbonate chemistry will be linked to the physical regime to quantify oceanic exchange processes occurring at open ocean atoll ecosystems.

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