Talia Stelling-Wood

PhD Candidate
Areas of Expertise

Macroaglae community ecology

My research looks at the relationship between the physical environment and associated fauna in macroalgae reefs.  It is widely accepted that more complex habitats host more diverse communities; however the mechanisms behind these relationships are poorly understood.  Current group-based approaches have failed to consistently explain this relationship.  In comparison, functional trait-based approaches have shown great promise, however their application to marine systems has been limited. 

To date, most trait-based approaches have primarily been concerned with interspecific variation, however macroalgae are known to demonstrate high morphological variability and therefore it is likely that intraspecific variation will play a significant role in determining associated communities.  My research investigates the use of these trait-based approaches to better understand the relationship between macroalgae and associated fauna, in terms of the role that macroalgae play in providing structurally complex habitat.  I am particularly interested in the role that intraspecific variation might play in structuring associated communities.

Supervisors: Professor Alistair Poore and Dr Paul Gribben



Stelling-Wood TP, Clark GF, Poore AG. Responses of ghost crabs to habitat modification of urban sandy beaches. Marine environmental research. 2016 May 31;116:32-40.