PhD Project Overview
This PhD project is investigating the marine ecology of the Falkland Islands sub-tidal (0-10m depth), both spatially and temporally, by use of dive survey techniques across a range of sites. Additionally, I have used Hummock Island as a case study to investigate the novel findings of peat soil pollution in the marine environment and its effects on the surrounding community structure, using the same diving techniques and depth band as above. I will also include a biogeographical chapter, comparing areas of similar geographies and latitudes namely the Falkland Islands, Straits of Magellan and the Beagle Channel, with South Georgia also compared as a known outlier, using both original and existing data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Finally, molecular phylogeographic techniques will also be applied to two model organisms that are present across all study regions. This will be used to test the hypothesis that the Falkland Islands acted as a ‘refugium’ for marine life during periods of recent Pleistocene glaciation, influencing contemporary population structures.