Felipe Ribeiro

Chemical interactions in shifting reef environments (Brazil, visiting PhD)


Coastal marine communities are currently undergoing regime shifts mainly attributed to increased nutrient input, overfishing and sea temperature anomalies. As a consequence, ecological interactions are affected in reef systems by the release of herbivory pressure and altered states of competitive dynamics.

My PhD thesis focus on the response of corals and their endosymbionts to chemically rich cyanobacteria and macroalgae in reef systems in both Atlantic and Indian Ocean where contrasting competitive processes are taking place. The broad aspect of my research is the silent communication between reef species and the amount of information that chemical, visual and behavioural signals can carry from one organism to another. More specifically, the ecological outcome of these interactions for bottom up processes, trophic relations and bioinvasion.

Supervisors: Renato Crespo Pereira, Thomas Wernberg