Thibaut de Bettignies (PhD 2013)

Tib continued his research on reef ecology and kelp forests, as a postdoc in the Wernberg Lab.

Sources and supply of kelp detritus: quantifying mechanisms of production

The aim of my PhD research was to determine the processes that supply seaweed wrack from reef. Kelp detritus can be generated through two processes, either the dislodgement of entire individual or fragmentation and erosion of distal kelp tissue. Many questions remain about the contribution of both processes to detritus production, their spatio-temporal variation and the influence of wave disturbance and storms. More specifically, I was looking at the rate and variation of kelp detritus production, its mechanisms and identify the main drivers, for Ecklonia radiata, the dominant kelp species in temperate Australia.

Ecklonia tagged and punched photo T_Wernberg

Professional networking: LinkedInResearchGateViadeo (in french)


  • 2007: M.Sc. (Oceanography and Marine Envt), Université Paris VI, France
  • 2005: B.Sc. (Biology of Marine Organisms), Université de Rennes 1, France
  • 2004: B.Sc. (Cell. Biol. and Mol. Physiol.), Université de Montréal, Canada

Awards and Recognition

  • Bursary winner at the International Temperate Reefs Symposium 2011 MBA (Marine Biological Association of the UK) bursary competition,, Plymouth (July 2011), UK.
  • Best student presentation at the Australasian Society for Phycology and Aquatic Botany Conference, ASPAB (November 2010), Rottnest Island.
  • AMSA-WA Student Travel Award to AMSA 2009 national conference in Adelaide.

Peer reviewed papers (PhD only)

Citation statistics: Google Scholar

4. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery PS, Vanderklift MA, Gunson JR,  Symonds G, Collier N (2014) Phenological decoupling of mortality from wave forcing in kelp beds. Ecology, 96(3): 850-861.

3. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery P, Vanderklift MA & Mohring M (2013) Contrasting mechanisms of dislodgement and erosion contribute to production of kelp detritus. Limnology and Oceanography, 58(5): 1680–1688.

2. de Bettignies T., Wernberg T. & Lavery P. (2013) Size, not morphology, determines hydrodynamic performance of a kelp during peak flow. Marine Biology 160(4): 843-851

1. de Bettignies T, Thomsen MS & Wernberg T (2012) Wounded kelps: Patterns and susceptibility to breakage. Aquatic Biology 17: 223-233.

Conference Papers

 5. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery PS, Vanderklift MA, Symonds G & Gunson J (2012) An equilibrium hypothesis of kelp dislodgement and wave disturbance redefines the model of kelp forest dynamic. Annual UNESCO IOC Perth / IMarEST Western Australian Marine Studies Awards

4. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery PS & Vanderklift M (2011) Spatial subsidies provided by organic matter export from kelp forests: importance of storm-driven pulses verses chronic export. (1) 3rd ANNIMS Conference (2) International Temperate Reef Symposium 2011, Plymouth, UK.

3. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery PS & Vanderklift M (2010).The importance of storms in driving export of organic matter (kelp wrack) from rocky reefs. (1) ASPAB, Western Australia; (2) WAMSI Young Career Researchers Symposium, Edith Cowan University.

2. de Bettignies T, Godefroy J, Wernberg T & Vanderklift M (2010). Changes in growth, erosion, productivity and morphology of Ecklonia radiata along a hydrodynamic gradient. ASPAB, Rottnest Island.

1. de Bettignies T, Wernberg T, Lavery PS & Vanderklift M (2009) Sources and supply of wrack: quantifying vectors of habitat connectivity,Poster presentation at (1) 46th Australian Marine Sciences Association, Adelaide; (2) 11th Annual Royal Society of WA Postgraduate Symposium, Curtin Univeristy; (3) 7th AMSA-WA student workshop, Rottnest Island.

2013 de Bettignies Thibaut

Thibaut de Bettignies PhD graduation 2013