Morven Rae-Seaman


I am a first-year marine science PhD student, based in the School of Biology at the University of Leeds. I am working on the adaptive ability of coral reefs to respond to and withstand thermal stress, utilising remote sensing and broad-scale variables to identify with increased survival potential under climate change. I am supervised by Dr Maria Beger and Dr Steve Sait, and funded by the NERC Panorama DTP. I also work with CASE partners at The Nature Conservancy and The Coral Reef Alliance. 

I completed an integrated Masters MBiol in Biology at the University of York, where I developed a keen interest in ecology, particularly focused on conservation and protection of biodiversity. I completed my MSc at the University of Glasgow, titled Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation & Epidemiology, where I developed my interest for using data science and statistics to improve ecological understanding. My MSc thesis involved the use of remotely sensed geolocation data from migratory seabirds to develop knowledge of winter niche ecologies and species’ overlaps. 

Research interests

I am interested in the concepts of ecological resilience and adaptive capacity at different spatial scales in coral reefs. Reefs are under huge threat from climate change, and thus it is essential we develop methods to identify areas of reef worldwide with improved capacity for survival under warming temperatures. Within my research, I utilise the recently developed Allen Coral Atlas (, which has high resolution maps of coral reefs that have been developed from satellite data. This allows me to work at broad scales, assessing large regions of reef worldwide. 

I aim to work at the intersection of ecology, conservation science, statistical modelling and policy development. This is important to ensure that work is relevant to managers and policymakers, so that real change can be actioned where it is most needed. 


  • MSc Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation & Epidemiology, University of Glasgow
  • MBiol Biology, University of York