The group consists of postgraduate students, both at the PhD and Master’s level with volunteer undergraduate students and is led by Dr Andrew J Davies, a marine ecologist with experience in mechanical and electronics engineering. Our group has been running since 2009. Now, we have a considerable supporting infrastructure that includes access to a variety of different resources and facilities, including flumes, aquaria, engineering workshops and laboratories. That is not to forget the many rocky shores, reefs and habitats that are within easy access of our lab. Our quest is simply to do good science, discover new things and to have fun whilst we do it!
We are a multi-disciplinary research group at the School of Ocean Sciences, who are at the convergence of fields such as physics, engineering and biology. It is certainly challenging, but the rewards both personally and intellectually are often much greater than the sum of the individual parts.
So what do we do? Well, most of the time we investigate biogenic reef species, especially, we try to understand why they form the structures that they do, why they develop into reefs in certain areas and to quantify their resulting effect on the surrounding environment. We do this by applying a range of approaches including manipulative ecology, physical observations and aquarium experiments. Now, much of the time, we have problems trying to any or all of these due to logistic constraints in certain habitats and this is where our expertise in engineering comes into play.