Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change

Research Area: Climate change biology

Anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the industrial era have led to significant warming of the earth's climate. This trend is predicted to accelerate throughout the 21st century as the global population increases. The marine climate of northern Europe is warming faster than the global average, and UK coastal seas are following this trend.

Changes in both the mean and variance in climatic regimes, modified by local and regional factors can lead to complex patterns of species distribution. Long-term data collected at many shores over extensive geographical ranges can provide insights into the responses of ectothermic species to climate change across a hierarchy of spatial and temporal scales.

My research programme focuses on detecting and forecasting responses of marine biodiversity to climate change. The MBA has some of the most extensive time-series globally, including data on the abundance and distribution of rocky intertidal invertebrates and macroalgae dating back to the 1950s. These time-series were continued or re-started under the MarClim marine biodiversity and climate change programme from 2002-2005 and are still surveyed on an annual basis. This work has been extended to other temperate regions around the world including Europe and New Zealand.

As a physiological ecologist I am interested in identifying the biological mechanisms in invertebrates and macroalgae that underpin the macroecological responses to climate warming and ocean acidification. Current research using combined laboratory and field experiments is investigating how increasing temperatures are altering reproductive cycles and impacting recruitment and the effects of climate change on invasive capabilities of non-natives.

Contact Name: 
Nova Mieszkowska