PhD Project titled 'Aliens in the twilight zone: the ecology and impacts of invasive lionfish on Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems'.
My PhD aims to characterise invasive lionfish (Pterois spp.) on Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs: 30-150 m). To achieve this, we will use prototype robots, with the ability to reach depths beyond 200m, to capture lionfish and conduct surveys of mesophotic communities. We aim to exploit this exciting new capability to determine the role of MCEs in invasive lionfish population dynamics and reveal their impact on the wider MCE fish community. From these data, we will then develop a spatially structured demographic model to inform best management practices. Our findings will be integrated into lionfish management strategies to support local Caribbean communities and businesses.
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