Dr Catherine Head

Research Interests

I am a marine biologist with a background in marine conservation. I undertook my PhD at University of Oxford focusing on the biodiversity and community structure of coral-associates in the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean, one of the world’s largest no-take marine protected areas. Previous to that I worked in marine conservation for 7 years for Zoological Society of London and Coral Cay Conservation.

Currently my post-doctoral research is focused on investigating the genetic connectivity of corals between shallow and deep depths to identify if mesophotic reefs (reefs deeper than 40m) can act as a refugia from human impacts, allowing reseeding of shallower reefs after mortality events. I’m also exploring the use of new genetic techniques, such as Environmental DNA, as a non-invasive method of monitoring marine biodiversity. In my spare time I love SCUBA diving, travelling and wildlife drawing.

Selected Publications

Head.C.E.I, Bonsall.M, Koldewey.H, Pratchett.M.S, Speight.M, Rogers.A.D (2015) High prevalence of obligate coral-dwelling decapods on dead corals in the Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean. Journal of Coral Reefs. 34:3. DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1307-x.

Roche RC, Pratchett MS, Carr P, Turner JR, Wagner D, Head C, Sheppard CRC (2015) Localized outbreaks of Acanthaster planci at an isolated and unpopulated reef atoll in the Chagos Archipelago. Marine Biology 162:1695-1704.

Curnick.D, Head.C.E.I, Crabbe.J, Gollock.M, Harding.S, Hoeksema.B, Koldewey.H, Johnson.K, Jones.R, Obura.D, Rosen.B, Smith.D, Taylor.M, Turner.J, Wren.S, Redding.D (2015) Setting Evolutionary-based conservation priorities for a phylogenetically data-poor group (Scleractinia). Journal of Animal Conservation 18. DOI 10.1111/acv.12185.