A growing fraction of the human population and economic activity is concentrating at coastal cities, exerting a high impact on the natural environment and giving rise to new social conflicts. Many harbours around the world share the same environmental, social and economic concerns, with some more particular to certain harbours. Building trans-boundary partnerships to the share the issues and the research undertaken, duplication of effort can be reduced, solutions can be strengthened and improvements can be globalised.
Paul Brooks is a postdoctoral researcher/teaching fellow in the Earth Institute and the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin. Paul’s research has focused on the individual and combined effects of multiple stressors on coastal ecosystems. He recently completed his doctorate before taking up a research position with the Marine Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution group at UCD. As part of his doctorate, both he and Mark Browne developed a novel field-based dosing system, which allowed for the controlled delivery of multiple stressors to marine fouling communities. In particular, Paul’s work focused on understanding how the intensity, frequency and timing of stressors can modify their impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems across different levels of biological organisation. In addition, Paul’s research also focused on understanding how combined effects of global and local stressors can modify interactions between species. More recently, his research is aiming to further understand how links between spatial heterogeneity and biodiversity in nature can be used to modify artificial structures in order to enhance their associated biodiversity.