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.




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
Gotelli, N, Shimadzu, H, Dornelas, M, McGill, B, Moyes, F & Magurran, AE 2017, 'Community-level regulation of temporal trends in biodiversity' Science Advances, vol 3, no. 7, e1700315. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700315
Dornelas, M, Madin, JS, Baird, AH & Connolly, SR 2017, 'Allometric growth in reef-building corals' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol 284, no. 1851, 20170053. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0053
Vellend, M, Dornelas, M, Baeten, L, Beauséjour, R, Brown, CD, De Frenne, P, Elmendorf, SC, Gotelli, NJ, Moyes, F, Myers-Smith, IH, Magurran, AE, McGill, BJ, Shimadzu, H & Sievers, C 2017, 'Estimates of local biodiversity change over time stand up to scrutiny' Ecology, vol 98, no. 2, pp. 583-590. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1660
Henriques Antão, L, Connolly, SR, Magurran, AE, Soares, A & Dornelas, M 2017, 'Prevalence of multimodal species abundance distributions is linked to spatial and taxonomic breadth' Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 26, no. 2, pp. 203-215. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12532
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