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School of Geography

Louise Brown Louise Brown

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Project title

Investigating marine benthic ecosystem response to global environmental change

Project overview

Estuarine and shallow coastal systems cover a small percentage of the ocean floor. However, despite their low coverage of the Earth’s surface these shallow coastal environments are responsible for a large portion of primary production and are some of the most important locations for long-term carbon storage within the marine environment.

Increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to a variety of impacts on the marine environment, including temperature rises and reductions in oxygen concentrations, decreases in salinity and changes in sedimentation and nutrient loading from the terrestrial environment, amongst others. Due to their shallow nature estuaries and coastal waters will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
It is fairly well documented that temperature and oxygen concentration influence benthic ecosystem function. However, the majority of experiments undertaken have only manipulated a single factor. Many past studies have also looked at a small subset of the species present within shallow coastal environments, rather than a truly intact community.
This project will use an experimental approach, using the incubation and manipulation of sediment microcosms in order to understand the impact of multiple climate stressors on the functioning of shallow marine ecosystems.


Dr Clare Woulds, Dr Megan Klaar, Ruth Parker and Silke Kroeger (CEFAS)

Research affiliations

River Basin Processes and Management


Leeds/York NERC DTP

Brief CV

2014-2017: Marine Scientist, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

2013-2014: MRes Ocean Science, University of Southampton

2010-2013: BSc Physical Geography, University of Leeds

Conferences/training attended

Conferences:GeoHab 2016

Training: Foundations in Teaching, APM Project Management Fundamentals