Sebastian Hennige, FHEA


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Current Research Interests

Dr. Hennige’s research has centred around the impact of climate change and pollutants on marine organisms and ecosystems, with particular focus on tropical and cold-water coral reefs.

Hennige has spoken at COP 26 and 27 on the impacts of ocean acidification to vulnerable marine ecosystems, highlighting the role of ‘coralporosis’ in future deep-sea coral reef loss (highlighted here). Hennige has been a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), a contributing author to the 2nd World Ocean Assessment (UNESCO), and lead editor of a United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) report on the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity. Hennige is on the Science Adviroy Panel for MASTS, and his recent work has led to Nature of Scotland awards in Innovation and Conservation.


I studied Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of St. Andrews before taking a PhD at the University of Essex examining acclimation and adaptations of corals across environmental gradients. Following this, I went to the University of Delaware (USA) to research harmful algal bloom photophysiology in a variety of environments, and mechanisms underlying tropical coral bleaching. From the States, I moved to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to conduct the first long-term experiments on cold-water corals in a changing ocean. I was then awarded a NERC Fellowship to examine the impact of climate change to tropical and cold-water corals. In 2016 I moved to the University of Edinburgh, where I co-direct the Marine Systems and Policies MSc. Programme and lead research on investigating the impacts of climate change and pollution to marine ecosystems. My fieldwork throughout my career has included expeditions from the UK and Norway for cold-water corals, to destinations such as Indonesia and the Maldives to study coral bleaching.



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