Karen Diele
Karen Diele

Prof Karen Diele

Professor

Biography

I am a Professor of Marine Ecology at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU). I am heading our Centre for Conservation and Restoration Science (CCRS; webpage coming soon) and am ENU lead for Research Structures, working with ENU's new Research Centres. I am member of the steering committees of the Fisheries Science and Aquatic Stressor Fora of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS; www.masts.ac.uk) and was Co-Director of St Abbs Marine Station, 2015-2020. Before moving to Scotland, I was researcher at the Leibniz Centre of Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany, with projects in Brazil and Vietnam (2011-2006). Between 2000 and 2005 I was based in Northern Brazil as a postdoctoral fellow where I also coordinated a 10 yrs bilateral research project on Mangrove Dynamics and Management. In 2000 I gained my PhD degree in Biology at the University Bremen / ZMT, Germany. I am currently teaching in the programmes MSc - Wildlife Biology and Conservation, and BSc (Hon) Marine Freshwater Biology. Prior to ENU I lectured Marine Biology at the University of Bremen and within the programme 'International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology (ISATEC)'.

RESEARCH INTERESTS
My research focuses on the dynamics, management and restoration of coastal ecosystems, on the life cycles and functional ecology of associated benthic marine invertebrates and their behavioural and physiological responses to environmental change (e.g. underwater noise, climatic stressors). I have been working in mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, rocky shores and biogenic reefs. My approach involves descriptive and experimental field and laboratory studies to answer fundamental biological and ecological questions and to deliver conservation, management and livelihood solutions.

RECENT GRANT SUCCESSES
- 'The West of Scotland Herring Hunt' (WOSHH) - William Grant Foundation - 2021-2024. See https://scottishherring.org (Research tab)
- 'Marine Soundscapes and eDNA for Assessing Biodiversity and Functioning of Re-establishing European Flat Oyster Reefs, Ostrea edulis' - NERC - SUPER DTP 2021 - 2025
- 'As Good as (G)Old? Comparing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Restored and Natural Mangrove Forests in the Wallacea Region (CoReNat) - NERC 2018-2022
- Wester Ross Herring Spawning Ecology - Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust / William Grant Foundation - 2020-2021
- 'The Role of the Gill Microbiome in the Evolution of Terrestrialness in Brachyuran Crabs (Microlanding)' - CRG KAUST 2019 -2022
- 'Quantifying and Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Processing of the Meat of the Brazilian Mangrove Crab Ucides cordatus and Scoping for Bioactive Compounds. Newton-Confap - 2018-2019

RECENT MEDIA OUTPUT
---- The Scotsman (04/08/22), and The Times (06/08/22), featuring the WOSHH project and launch of a new website dedicated to Scottish Herring
---- AgroMas - Tech and Startup (31/01/22; 30 min life interview); TV Brazil, featuring the launch of the new IoS version of a citizen-science mobile app for monitoring mass-mating of Brazilian mangrove crabs
---- BBC Blue Planet UK Episode 2, featuring our underwater noise research) and Episode 5, featuring our animal 'personality' research).

PLACEMENT STUDENTS
In addition to enjoying my work with Postdoctoral Fellows, PhD, MSc and UG students, I am welcoming UK and international placement students to gain experience in our labs. For example, between 2017 and 2019 I have been accepting three students from the School of Engineering, University of Lyon, France (5 months PROMO-placements), and between 2014 and 2016 IAESTE students from ETH Zuerich, Switzerland, TU Aachen, Germany and University of Bogotá, Colombia.

Themes

Events

Esteem

Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Executive Committee Member of £5mil NERC Doctoral Training Partnership SUPER (Scottish Universities Partnership for Environmental Research
  • Steering Group Member/ Deputy Lead MASTS Marine Stressor Forum - Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
  • Scientific Advisor for Mangrove Crab Conservation and Fisheries Management; Conservation International- Brazil
  • Member of the MASTS Executive Committee- The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
  • Steering Group Member MASTS Fisheries Science Forum - The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
  • Advisor for Brazilian Environmental Government Organization CEPENE-ICMBio

 

Editorial Activity

  • Guest-Editor Special Issue - Global and Planetary Change
  • Advisory Committee Member - Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Science
  • Editorial Board Member - Revista Cepsul: Biodiversity and Marine Conservation

 

External Examining/Validations

  • External PhD thesis examiner at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology, Bremen, Germany.

 

Grant Funding Panel Member

  • NERC Grant Panel Member- UK-Latin America Biodiversity call - LATAM

 

Grant Reviewer

  • NERC Large Grant Peer Reviewer - Mangrove Ecology

 

Invited Speaker

  • King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST): Research conference speaker (invited) 'Securing a future for the Red Sea ecosystems'.
  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Annual Meeting -Scotland speaker (invited), Aberdeen, UK.
  • NERC- Ristekdikti Wallacea- Researcher Networking Workshop speaker (invited), Makassar, Indonesia.
  • National Centre of Research and Marine Biodiversity Conservation in North-East Brazil (CEPENE), Community Seminar speaker (invited). Caravelas, Brazil.
  • State University of Paraiba, Brazil: Research seminar speaker (invited), School of Biological Sciences. Campina Grande, Brazil.
  • Federal University of Southern Bahia: International Seminar Series speaker (invited). Texeiras de Freitas, Brazil.
  • North-East UK Seabird Research Group Meeting speaker (invited). Berwick-Upon-Tweed, UK.
  • British Council - Connected Scotland: Researcher Networking workshop speaker (invited), Sao Paulo & Recife, Brazil.
  • Newton-Fund Researcher Links networking workshop speaker (invited). Santa Marta, Colombia.

 

Media Activity

  • BBC One- Blue Planet UK - Episode 5 (interviewed on animal 'personality' research; St Abbs Marine Station
  • BBC One- Blue Planet UK - Episode 2 (Interview of two of my PhD students on their underwater noise research); St Abbs Marine Station
  • Youtube MASTS vidcast 2017. Interviewed by MASTS for Brazilian mangrove crab research
  • Brazilian TV G1 Globo. Interviewed for mangrove crab research (citizen-science app)
  • Featured on webpage of the Brazilian Ministry for the Environment (MMA - ICMBio): Research activities of REMAR project featured three times on webpage between 2017 and 2018
  • NEN - North Edinburgh News - featuring mangrove crab research in Brazil
  • Youtube Edinburgh Napier University vidcast to promote MSc programme Wildlife Biology and Conservation; interview of MSc student on her seabird research at St Abbs and later career
  • BBC Radio 4 - Shared Planet - BBC Radio 4 - Mangroves: Putting nature back? (contribution at 8’53’’)
  • BBC Radio 4 - Shared Planet - BBC Radio 4 - Community Protection (contribution at 10’41’’)
  • TV Brazil – Mangroves of Southern Bahia TV Brazil - Mangroves of Southern Bahia (contribution at 8’45’’ and 22’56’’)

 

Membership of Professional Body

  • Member of the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum
  • Member of the British Ecological Society
  • Founding member and representative of the research network REMAR (Brazil)
  • Member of MASTS- the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

 

Non-executive Directorship

  • Co-Director of Research, St Abbs Marine Station (25% secondment)

 

Public/Community Engagement

  • STEM - Collaboration with Minerva Scientifica - The Voice Theatre (Scottish Super Women in Science), collaboration with Sighthill and Eyemouth Primary Schools with joint public performances on three occasions. Production of two soundclouds putting my research into tunes.

 

Reviewing

  • Peer reviewer for > 25 scientific journals since 2005. Acta Zoologica; Animal Biology; Aquatic Biology; Behavioural Biology and Sociobiology; Brazilian Journal for Biology; Ecotropica; Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science; Ethnobiology and Conservation; Fisheries Research; Helgoland Marine Research; Hydrobiologia; Ihringia Zoologica; Journal of Crustacean Biology; Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; Journal of Plankton Research; Journal for Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology; Journal of Tropical Ecology; Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research; Marine Biology; Ocean and Coastal Management; PlosOne; Science of the Total Environment; Restoration Ecology; Tropical Oceanography; Wetlands Ecology and Management, Zoology.

 

Date


76 results

From DNA to ecological performance: Effects of anthropogenic noise on a reef-building mussel

Journal Article
Wale, M. A., Briers, R. A., Hartl, M. G., Bryson, D., & Diele, K. (2019)
From DNA to ecological performance: Effects of anthropogenic noise on a reef-building mussel. Science of the Total Environment, 689, 126-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.380
Responses of marine invertebrates to anthropogenic noise are insufficiently known, impeding our understanding of ecosystemic impacts of noise and the development of mitigation...

From DNA to Ecological Performance: Effects of Anthropogenic Noise on a Reef-Building Mussel

Dataset
Wale, M., Diele, K., & Briers, R. (2018)
From DNA to Ecological Performance: Effects of Anthropogenic Noise on a Reef-Building Mussel. [Dataset]. https://doi.org/10.17869/1ykg-ax55

Sediment Temperature Impact on Population Structure and Dynamics of the Crab Austruca iranica Pretzmann, 1971 (Crustacea: Ocypodidae) in Subtropical Mangroves of the Persian Gulf

Journal Article
Saeedi, H., Kamrani, E., Nordhaus, I., & Diele, K. (2018)
Sediment Temperature Impact on Population Structure and Dynamics of the Crab Austruca iranica Pretzmann, 1971 (Crustacea: Ocypodidae) in Subtropical Mangroves of the Persian Gulf. Wetlands, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-018-0998-5
Ocypodid crabs inhabit intertidal sandy/muddy flats of tropical and sub-tropical mangroves. Iran has three species of the genus Austruca. In contrast to A. sindensis and A. la...

Mangrove Ecosystem Services for Local Communities and their Vulnerability to Climate Change

Book Chapter
Huxham, M., Dencer-Brown, A., Diele, K., Kathiresan, K., Nagelkerken, I., & Wanjiru, C. (2017)
Mangrove Ecosystem Services for Local Communities and their Vulnerability to Climate Change. In V. H. Rivera-Monroy, S. Y. Lee, E. Kristensen, & R. R. Twilley (Eds.), Mangrove ecosystems: a global biogeographic perspective on structure, function and services

Mangroves and People: Local Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate

Book Chapter
Huxham, M., Dencer-Brown, A., Diele, K., Kathiresan, K., Nagelkerken, I., & Wanjiru, C. (2017)
Mangroves and People: Local Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate. In V. H. Rivera-Monroy, S. Y. (. Lee, E. Kristensen, & R. Twilley (Eds.), Mangrove Ecosystems: A Global Biogeographic Perspective, 245-274. Springer Verlag. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-62206-4_8
Mangrove forests provide many services, some of which are used mostly or exclusively by local people, often the relatively poor and marginalised. Here, such ‘local ecosystem s...

Biodiversity

Book Chapter
Lee, S. Y., Jones, E. B. G., Diele, K., Castellanos-Galindo, G. A., & Nordhaus, I. (2017)
Biodiversity. In V. H. Rivera-Monroy, S. Y. Lee, E. Kristensen, & R. R. Twilley (Eds.), Mangrove Ecosystems: A Global Biogeographic Perspective (55-86). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62206-4_3
With only about 80 species of true mangrove trees worldwide, mangrove ecosystems comprise a relatively low number of habitat-forming tree species, but a high diversity of deco...

Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation

Journal Article
Potouroglou, M., Bull, J. C., Krauss, K. W., Kennedy, H. A., Fusi, M., Daffonchio, D., …Huxham, M. (2017)
Measuring the role of seagrasses in regulating sediment surface elevation. Scientific Reports, 7, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-12354-y
Seagrass meadows provide numerous ecosystem services and their rapid global loss may reduce human welfare as well as ecological integrity. In common with the other ‘blue carbo...

The influence of crab burrows on sediment salinity in a Rhizophora-dominated mangrove forest in North Brazil during the dry season

Journal Article
Pestana, D. F., Pülmanns, N., Nordhaus, I., Diele, K., & Zimmer, M. (2017)
The influence of crab burrows on sediment salinity in a Rhizophora-dominated mangrove forest in North Brazil during the dry season. Hydrobiologia, 803(1), 295-305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3282-4
Many ecological processes are influenced by salinity. Burrowing crabs, abundant fauna of mangrove forests around the world, can facilitate sediment water fluxes, which may dec...

Metamorphosis of the edible mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Ucididae) in response to benthic microbial biofilms

Journal Article
Simith, D. D. J. D. B., Abrunhosa, F. A., & Diele, K. (2017)
Metamorphosis of the edible mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Ucididae) in response to benthic microbial biofilms. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 492, 132-140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2017.01.022
Benthic microbial communities can play an important role in the induction of larval metamorphosis in marine invertebrates. The role of biofilms in recognizing the parental hab...

Commercial relationships between intermediaries and harvesters of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763) in the Mamanguape River estuary, Brazil, and their socio-ecological implications

Journal Article
Nascimento, D. M., Alves, R. R. N., Barboza, R. R. D., Schmidt, A. J., Diele, K., & Mourão, J. S. (2017)
Commercial relationships between intermediaries and harvesters of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763) in the Mamanguape River estuary, Brazil, and their socio-ecological implications. Ecological Economics, 131, 44-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.017
The large mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (“caranguejo-uçá”) is a key fisheries resource in Brazil, critical for the sustenance of livelihoods of thousands of people in coastal ...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Leibniz-Association/ZMT: ' Physiological and ontogenetic responses of tropical benthic calcifiers towards combined high DIC and DOC'. I wrote 30% of the proposal. Euro 176,000.
  • Leibniz-Association/ZMT: 'Movement patterns and habitat use of the exploited crab Scylla serrata'. I wrote 50% of the proposal. Euro 125,000.
  • PhD proposal 'Linkage between biodiversity and mangrove ecosystem functioning'. Leibniz-Association /ZMT. I wrote 100% of the proposal. Euro 266,000
  • German Research Foundation (DFG): Land-ocean-atmospheric interactions in the coastal zone of S-Vietnam: dynamics of the green belt.' I wrote 40% of the research proposal, Euro 498,000. Work-package lead.
  • Brazilian Environmental Ministry (MMA): 'Mae d'agua do Caeté'. Community-based project written with scientifc advisors as myself. BRL 250,000.

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Rodrigues, E. (2019): Optimisation of essential habitat in sustainable fishery management. PhD - Second supervisor with M. Bell (Heriot-Watt University, Director of Studies). NERC DTP Studentship (SUPER). Heriot-Watt University, UK.
  • Lee, H. (2018): “Unlocking the vaults of biogenic reefs: Blue carbon storage and nutrient burial by bivalve shellfish”. PhD - Second supervisor with W. Sanderson (Heriot-Watt University, Director of Studies); further supervisors I. Davies (Marine Scotland) and J. Baxter (SNH). Funded by Glenmorangie and Marine Scotland. Heriot-Watt University, UK.
  • Harsanyi, P. (2017) Effects of electromagnetic fields on diversity and functional role of epibiotic bacteria. PhD - team supervision with J. Farkas (Director of Studies, Eotovos Lorand Univerity, Hungary), A. Lyndon & W Sanderson (Heriot-Watt University). Eotvos Lorand University, Hungary / St Abbs Marine Station, UK.
  • Meyer, F. (2015): Combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated nutrient availability on coral reef calcifiers. PhD - University of Bremen, Germany. Team supervision with the Leibniz Center of Tropical Marine Ecology, Germany.
  • Kluger, L. (2012): Intraspecific facilitation? The effect of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus on sympatric benthic fauna. MScR University of Bremen, Germany. Principle supervisor.
  • Alberts-Hubatsch, H. (2015): Movement ecology and management of the mud crab Scylla serrata. PhD - University of Bremen, Germany. Team supervision with the Leibniz Center of Tropical Marine Ecology, Germany and Griffith University, Australia.
  • Korting, J. (2012): Bioturbation activities of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus - Method development and fist quantification in the Caeté Estuary, North Brazil. MScR University of Bremen, Germany. Principle Supervisor.
  • Pülmanns, N. (2014): Effects of macrobenthic exclusion on mangrove ecosystem functions. PhD - University of Bremen, Germany. Team supervision with the Leibniz Center of Tropical Marine Ecology, Germany and the Federal University of Pará, Brazil
  • Kassuga, A. (2014): Reproductive biology of marine ornamental shrimps in SE Brazil. PhD - second supervisor, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil.
  • Meyer, F. (2010): Effects of ocean acidification on the development and survival of brachyuran crab larvae. MScR University of Bremen, Germany. Principle supervisor.
  • Jaenig, M. (2010): sharks (Selachii) in mangrove-fringed habitats of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), with implications for management and conservation. MScR University of Bremen, Germany. Principal supervisor.
  • Schmidt, A.J. (2012): Recruitment and spatial distribution of the harvested mangrove crab Ucides cordatus in mangroves of Caravelas, Bahia, Brazil. PhD - Federal University Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. First supervisor (de facto).
  • Simith, D.J.B. (2012): Larval ecology and metamorphosis of the harvested mangrove crab Ucides cordatus. PhD - Federal University of Pará, Brazil. First supervisor (de facto).
  • Simith, D.J.B. (2007): induction of settlement and metamorphosis in mangrove crab megalopae, Ucides cordatus. MScR Federal University of Para, Brazil. Principal supervisor.
  • D'Lima, C. (2005): Movement ecology of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus cordatus in the Caeté Estuary, North Brazil. MScR University of Bremen, Germany. Second supervisor.
  • Araujo, A.R.R (2010): Fisheries statistics and commercialisation of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus. PhD -University of Bremen, Germany. First supervisor (de facto).
  • De Vale, P. (2001): Reproductive biology of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus in the mangroves of the Caeté Estuary, North Brazil. MScR Federal University of Pará, Brazil. Principle Supervisor.