Professor Nick Graham
Nick’s research tackles coral reef issues under the overarching themes of climate change, human use and resilience. Three key areas he is currently focussed on are:
The Changing Ecology and Functioning of Coral Reefs.
This research seeks to assess the changing ecology of coral reef ecosystems under climate change and human use, including alterations to productivity and functioning of the ecosystem. Specifically the project is quantifying the changing composition of coral reefs across the Indian Ocean in response to climate change and other anthropogenic impacts, assessing the top-down (i.e. fishing) versus bottom-up (i.e. habitat composition) influences on the productivity of coral reef fisheries, and assessing how ecosystem functions differ under alternate scenarios of direct human use and climate impacts.
Spatial Nutrient Subsidy Implications for Productivity, Functioning, and Recovery.
Seabirds vector large quantities of nutrients from pelagic oceanic ecosystems back to islands. These nutrients can leach into nearshore coral reef environments, boosting productivity and functioning of coral reef fish communities. This research theme is investigating how seabird nutrients influence coral reef recovery dynamics, and reef fish productivity. The timescales over which nutrient subsidy benefits are restored following the removal of invasive rats (and subsequent recovery of seabird populations) is also being investigated.
Linking Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems.
Many solutions to environmental problems lie in understanding how humans interact with the environment. Nick collaborates with social scientists to combine ecological and social data. This work tackles issues such as identifying the underlying social drivers behind marine ecosystem collapse, uncovering the social and ecological outcomes of differing management approaches, determining the environmental and social drivers of coral reef ecosystem functioning, assessing how ecosystem change influences the delivery of ecosystem services to people, and uncovering how coral reef fisheries can be managed to improve food security.
Nature video on seabird nutrient vectoring paper
Seminar on Maintaining ecosystems and livelihoods in the face of climate change
- Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Carr P, Hoey AS, Jennings S, MacNeil MA (2018) Seabirds enhance coral reef productivity and functioning in the absence of invasive rats. Nature 559: 250-253 – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0202-3?dom=scribd&src=syn
- Barlow J, França F, …., Graham NAJ (2018) The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems. Nature 559: 517-526 – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0301-1
- Perry CT, Alvarez-Filip L, Graham NAJ, et al. (2018) Loss of coral reef growth capacity to track future increases in sea level. Nature 558: 396-400 – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0194-z
- Hughes TP, Anderson KD, Connolly SR, ….. Graham NAJ, et al. (2018) Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene. Science 359: 80-83 – http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6371/80
- Graham NAJ, McClanahan TR, MacNeil MA, Wilson SK, Cinner JE, Huchery C, Holmes TH (2017) Human disruption of coral reef trophic structure. Current Biology 27: 231-236 – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982216313252
- Cinner JE, Huchery C, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, et al. (2016) Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature 535: 416-419 – https://www.nature.com/articles/nature18607
- Graham NAJ, Jennings S, MacNeil MA, Mouillot D, Wilson SK (2015) Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature 518: 94-97 – https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14140
- MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Cinner JE, Wilson SK, Williams ID, Maina J, Newman S, Friedlander AM, Jupiter S, Polunin NVC, McClanahan TR (2015) Recovery potential of the world’s coral reef fishes. Nature 520: 341-344 – https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14358
- Graham NAJ, Cinner JE, Norström AV, Nyström M (2014) Coral reefs as novel ecosystems: embracing new futures. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7: 9-14 – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343513001851
- Graham NAJ, Nash KL (2013) The importance of structural complexity in coral reef ecosystems. Coral Reefs 32: 315-326 – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-012-0984-y