Nestor Bosch

Changes in functional diversity of reef fishes within an ocean warming hotspot: implications for temperate reef resilience (PhD)

Globally, the many marine taxa are shifting their distribution in response to ocean warming to track their climatic niche. Species re-distributions might have profound implications on ecosystem functioning and services as they not only modify the taxonomic makeup of a community (i.e. species composition and diversity) but ultimately also modify the range of functions (i.e. measured in terms of functional traits) of the resident community, with drastic and unknown consequences for ecosystem dynamics. The main goal of my PhD is to understand how the geographic shift of tropical fishes is altering the functional diversity of temperate reefs fish communities and its ecological, social and economic implications. Specifically, I will use long-term continental scale data sets, and field surveys to investigate:

i). Australia-wide patterns in functional diversity of reef fishes.
ii). How warming interact with latitude to reshape these patterns.
iii). The effects of methodological biases in the spatio-temporal assessment of functional diversity.
iv). The extent to which a particular tropical species (the blue-barred parrotfish, Scarus ghobban) can maintain its ecological role in novel ‘tropicalised’ reefs.

Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Tim Langlois, Adriana Verges (UNSW)


  • 2016: “Summa cum laude” International Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+).
  • 2013: Bachelor in Biological Sciences. Major in Marine Biology (University of Laguna, Canary islands, Spain).

Peer reviewed papers

  1. Zarco-Perello S, Bosch NE, Bennett S, Vanderklift MA, Wernberg T (2021) Persistence of tropical herbivores in temperate reefs constrain kelp resilience to cryptic habitats. Journal of Ecology, accepted 3/2/21
  2. Tuya, F., Herrero-Barrencua, A., Bosch, N. E., Abreu, A. D., & Haroun, R. (2018). Reef fish at a remote tropical island (Principe Island, Gulf of Guinea): disentangling taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity patterns with depth. Marine and Freshwater Research, 69(3), 395-402.
  3. Bosch, N. E., Gonçalves, J., Erzini, K., & Tuya, F. (2017). “How” and “what” matters: Sampling method affects biodiversity estimates of reef fishes. Ecology and Evolution, 7(13), 4891-4906.
  4. Bosch, N. E., Gonçalves, J. M., Tuya, F., & Erzini, K. (2017). Marinas as habitats for nearshore fish assemblages: comparative analysis of underwater visual census, baited cameras and fish traps. Scientia Marina, 81(2), 159-169.

Achievements and awards

  • 2019: Grant winner, Graduate Research School Travel Award
  • 2019: Grant winner, Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
  • 2019: Supervisor, Masters student Claude Spencer
  • 2018: Grant winner, Sea World Research Foundation.
  • 2018: Grant winner, Robson & Robertson Award.
  • 2018: Grant winner, Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
  • 2017: International Research Training Program Scholarship for a PhD at UWA.
  • 2016: EMBC+ award to the best thesis: Marinas as habitats for fish: a methodological approach using a combination of sampling techniques and diversity metrics.

Cpt Nestor