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.
  • North-East UK Seabird Research Group Meeting speaker (invited). Berwick-Upon-Tweed, UK.
  • 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.
  • Newton-Fund Researcher Links networking workshop speaker (invited). Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • British Council - Connected Scotland: Researcher Networking workshop speaker (invited), Sao Paulo & Recife, Brazil.

 

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
  • 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
  • Brazilian TV G1 Globo. Interviewed for mangrove crab research (citizen-science app)
  • Youtube MASTS vidcast 2017. Interviewed by MASTS for Brazilian mangrove crab research
  • 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 - Community Protection (contribution at 10’41’’)
  • BBC Radio 4 - Shared Planet - BBC Radio 4 - Mangroves: Putting nature back? (contribution at 8’53’’)
  • 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

Burrows of the semi-terrestrial crab Ucides cordatus enhance CO2 release in a North Brazilian mangrove forest

Journal Article
Puelmanns, N., Diele, K., Mehlig, U., & Nordhaus, I. (2014)
Burrows of the semi-terrestrial crab Ucides cordatus enhance CO2 release in a North Brazilian mangrove forest. PLOS ONE, 9(10), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109532
Ucides cordatus is an abundant mangrove crab in Brazil constructing burrows of up to 2 m depth. Sediment around burrows may oxidize during low tides. This increase in sediment...

Microhabitat use of early stage mud crabs, Scylla serrata (Forskal, 1775), in Eastern Australia.

Journal Article
Alberts-Hubatsch, H., Lee, S. Y., Diele, K., Wolff, M., & Nordhaus, I. (2014)
Microhabitat use of early stage mud crabs, Scylla serrata (Forskal, 1775), in Eastern Australia. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 34(5), 604-610. https://doi.org/10.1163/1937240X-00002256
The mud crab Scylla serrata (Forskål, 1775) (Portunidae) is a commercial species in the Indo-West-Pacific. Despite its high fishery value, the microhabitat of its early juveni...

Is larval dispersal a necessity for decapod crabs from the Amazon mangroves? Response of Uca rapax zoeae to different salinities and comparison with sympatric species

Journal Article
Simith, D. D. J. D. B., Pires, M. A. B., Abrunhosa, F. A., Maciel, C. R., & Diele, K. (2014)
Is larval dispersal a necessity for decapod crabs from the Amazon mangroves? Response of Uca rapax zoeae to different salinities and comparison with sympatric species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 457, 22-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2014.03.021
Salinity may play an important role in the larval Biology and Ecology of many brachyuran decapod crustaceans. Usually, ontogenetic changes in salinity tolerance represent a go...

Ecological role and services of tropical mangrove ecosystems: A reassessment.

Journal Article
Lee, S. Y., Primavera, J. H., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., McKee, K., Bosire, J. O., Cannicci, S., …Record, S. (2014)
Ecological role and services of tropical mangrove ecosystems: A reassessment. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 726-743. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12155
Aim To reassess the capacity of mangroves for ecosystem services in the light of recent data. Location Global mangrove ecosystems. Methods We review four long‐standing roles...

Sobre a definição da zona de apicum e a sua importância ecológica para populações de caranguejo-uca, Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763). (Linnaeus, 1763). Translated title “Definition of the Apicum-zone and its ecological importance for populations of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763)”.

Journal Article
Schmidt, A. J., Bemvenuti, C. E., & Diele, K. (2013)
Translated title “Definition of the Apicum-zone and its ecological importance for populations of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763)”. Boletim técnico-científico do CEPENE / Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis, Centro de Pesquisa e Gestão de Recursos Pesqueiros do Litoral Nordeste, 19, 9-25
This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion regarding the unfortunate recent changes to the protected area status of Brazilian mangrove ecosystems - thus published in Por...

Do canopy disturbances drive forest plantations into more natural conditions? A case study from Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam.

Journal Article
Vogt, J., Kautz, M., Herazo, M. L. F., Triet, T., Walther, D., Saint-Paul, U., …Berger, U. (2013)
Do canopy disturbances drive forest plantations into more natural conditions? A case study from Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam. Global and Planetary Change, 110, 249-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.09.002
Large areas of mangrove forests were devastated in South Viet Nam during the second Indochina war. After its end in 1975, extensive reforestation with monocultures took place....

Chemical induction in mangrove crab megalopae. Ucides cordatus (Ucididae): Do young recruits emit metamorphosis-triggering odours as do conspecific adults?

Journal Article
Simith, D. D. J. D. B., Abrunhosa, F. A., & Diele, K. (2013)
Chemical induction in mangrove crab megalopae. Ucides cordatus (Ucididae): Do young recruits emit metamorphosis-triggering odours as do conspecific adults?. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 131, 264-270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2013.07.015
In many brachyuran species, including the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus, water-soluble chemicals (odours) emitted by adult residents trigger metamorphosis of megalopae, probab...

Carry-over effects of delayed larval metamorphosis on early juvenile performance in the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Ucididae)

Journal Article
Simith, D. D. J. D. B., Diele, K., & Abrunhosa, F. A. (2013)
Carry-over effects of delayed larval metamorphosis on early juvenile performance in the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Ucididae). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 440, 61-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2012.11.017
Competent larvae of most benthic marine invertebrates including brachyuran decapod crustaceans can delay their settlement and metamorphosis in the absence of suitable environm...

Measuring and understanding sustainability-enhancing processes in tropical coastal and marine social–ecological systems

Journal Article
Glaser, M., Christie, P., Diele, K., Dsikowitzky, L., Ferse, S., Nordhaus, I., …Wild, C. (2012)
Measuring and understanding sustainability-enhancing processes in tropical coastal and marine social–ecological systems. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4, 300-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2012.05.004
Tropical coastal and marine social–ecological systems (CM-SES) are diverse, complex and dynamic, facing special challenges as hotspots of biodiversity and centres of populatio...

Impact of typhoon disturbance on the diversity of key ecosystem engineers in a monoculture mangrove forest plantation, Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam.

Journal Article
Diele, K., Tran Ngoc, D. M., Geist, S. J., Meyer, F., Pham, Q. H., Saint-Paul, U., …Berger, U. (2013)
Impact of typhoon disturbance on the diversity of key ecosystem engineers in a monoculture mangrove forest plantation, Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, Vietnam. Global and Planetary Change, 110(B), 236-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2012.09.003
Mangrove crabs as key ecosystem engineers may play an important role in the recovery process of storm-damaged forests. Yet, their response to storm disturbance is largely unkn...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • PhD proposal 'Linkage between biodiversity and mangrove ecosystem functioning'. Leibniz-Association /ZMT. I wrote 100% of the proposal. Euro 266,000
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kluger, L. (2012): Intraspecific facilitation? The effect of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus on sympatric benthic fauna. 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.