Dr Maria Dornelas

MASTS Lecturer

Dyers Brae 8
tel. 01334 463324
fax. 01334 463443


My research interests fall under the disciplines of community ecology, macroecology and biogeography. I'm interested in quantifying biodiversity and in understanding the processes that shape it. I believe understanding how different ecological processes affect biodiversity patterns is fundamental for sustainable management and conservation. I usually study coral communities, but I have also worked with mangrove crabs, plants and tropical freshwater fish, for example. I am increasingly interested in synthesis work, combining data from multiple sources, and I am planning to extend my research into eco-informatics. I like to combine ecological theory, quantitative analysis and fieldwork in my research, and some of the questions I’m interested in are:

- Which ecological processes affect species coexistence?

- Are there general effects of disturbance on community structure?

- How does dispersal limitation affect biodiversity patterns?

- Quantifying intra- and inter-specific, morphological, demographic and/or functional diversity

Currently I am involved in projects in coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia),  Vamizi (Mozambique) and freshwater fish in Trinidad (Caribbean).


If you are interested in the research that I do, and would like to explore potential PhD or master projects please send me an email.




Alvarez-Noriega, M, Baird, AH, Dornelas, M, Madin, JS & Connolly, SR 2018, 'Negligible effect of competition on coral colony growth' Ecology. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2222
Álvarez-Noriega, M, Baird, AH, Bridge, TCL, Dornelas, M, Fontoura, L, Pizarro, O, Precoda, K, Torres-Pulliza, D, Woods, RM, Zawada, K & Madin, JS 2018, 'Contrasting patterns of changes in abundance following a bleaching event between juvenile and adult scleractinian corals' Coral Reefs, vol First Online. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-018-1677-y
Magurran, AE, Deacon, AE, Moyes, FH, Shimadzu, H, Azeredo de Dornelas, MA, Phillip, D & Ramnarine, I 2018, 'Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol 115, no. 8, pp. 1843-1847. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1712594115
House, JE, Brambilla, V, Bidaut, LM, Christie, AP, Pizarro, O, Madin, JS & Dornelas, M 2018, 'Moving to 3D: relationships between coral planar area, surface area and volume' PeerJ, vol 6, e4280. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4280
Santini, L, Belmaker, J, Costello, MJ, Pereira, HM, Rossberg, AG, Schipper, AM, Ceaușu, S, Dornelas, M, Hilbers, JP, Hortal, J, Huijbregts, MAJ, Navarro, LM, Schiffers, KH, Visconti, P & Rondinini, C 2017, 'Assessing the suitability of diversity metrics to detect biodiversity change' Biological Conservation, vol 213, no. Part B, pp. 341-350. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.08.024
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