Sahira Bell

Regime shifts and tropicalisation of temperate reefs (PhD)

In marine environments, there is increasing evidence that climate-mediated marine heatwaves and range shifting tropical herbivores can have profound impacts on temperate kelp forests. My project aims to determine the relative importance of marine heatwaves and tropical herbivores in driving persistent change and the degradation of kelp forests on the Great Southern Reef – one of Australia’s most productive and globally unique ecosystems.

Supervisors: Thomas Wernberg, Adriana Vergés (University of New South Wales)


2014: B.Sc. (Marine Biology), University of Western Australia, Australia



  • 2018: Grant winner, Robson & Robertson Awards.
  • 2018: Grant winner, The PADI Foundation.
  • 2017: Grant winner, The Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.
  • 2016: Research Training Program Scholarship for a PhD at UWA.