Name: Heather BaxterHeather

Project Title: “Understanding coral survival in a warmer world; the role of historic coral bleaching.”

Cohort: 2015/16

Institution: University of Glasgow

CASE partner: Operation Wallacea




In 2013 I graduated from Plymouth University with a Bachelor of Science joint honours degree (BSc Hons) in Geography with Ocean Science. During my studies I developed an interest in tropical marine environments, specifically coral reefs and subsequently completed a Master’s degree (MSc) in Tropical Marine Biology at the University of Essex. I have now combined these disciplines to conduct an interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Coral reef ecosystems are some of the most diverse on Earth, they are a major source of income for many countries by supporting industries such as tourism and fishing and over 500 million people depend on them. However, projected global change, particularly ocean warming, has cast serious doubt over the ability of corals to survive in the future. One of the most devastating impacts of ocean warming is coral ‘bleaching’ – where corals lose their symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium spp.), which they rely on for the majority of their energy requirements.

The outcomes from my PhD research will highlight not only the biological value of coral reefs; but also expand our understanding of the drivers and effects of coral bleaching based on the interplay between environmental factors and coral growth.


Publications/Conference talks/Posters:

Baxter, H., Burdett, H., Hennige, S. and Kamenos, N. (2016) Temperature driven bleaching and growth in the Maldives. Unpublished poster presentation at: 19th Reef Conservation UK Conference, November 26th 2016, Zoological Society London, UK

Individual based analysis of the functional overlap among four temperate fish species by A. Gouraguine, O. Reñones, H. Baxter, H. Hinz, D. Smith and J. Moranta. Article published in 41st CIEM Congress Proceedings, CIESM Congress 2016, Kiel, article 0408



  • £750 Sir Alwyn Williams Postgraduate Scholarship
  • £2,500 University of Glasgow College of Science and Engineering Mobility Scholarship
  • Reef Conservation UK 2016 “Best Poster Presentation” student prize
  • NERC Bursary for NERC-IMDBL Environmental Genomics course 2016


Get in touch:


Twitter: @HBJBaxter

Department webpage: