Dr Maria Beger

Dr Maria Beger


My Academic Background

  • 2016-2020 University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds
  • 2012-2016 Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 2008-2011 Postdocs: The University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, University of Tasmania
  • 2002-2008 PhD Conservation Science, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • 2000-2002 Australian-European Exchange Scholar, James Cook University, Australia
  • 1996 Dipl.Ing. Groundwater Engineering, TU Dresden, Germany
  • 1994 MSc Marine Resources Management & Conservation, Heriot Watt Uni, UK

My Science:

I am a conservation ecologist with complementary interests in coral reef ecology and spatial conservation prioritization. I mostly work in the Coral Triangle, the Pacific, the Western Indian Ocean, Japan and Australia.  I also work in projects dealing with fish biomass predictions, climate change science, ecosystem services, and global evaluations of protected areas. Current themes I work on are:

  •     Integrating larval dispersal into spatial planning and conservation;
  •     How can genetic data inform conservation decisions?
  •     Managing whole life cycles in migratory animals: integrating telemetry into planning;
  •     How can we model and manage coral reef resilience?
  •     Multi-taxon community assembly rules along a tropical to temperate temperature gradient (Australia, Japan)
  •     Managing range shifts;
  •     How do pristine reefs differ (Republic of the Marshall Islands)?
  •     Develop coastal and offshore bioregionalisations (South Pacific);
  •     Quantifying human-ecological links in coastal ecosystems;
  •     Which fish are here (fish species counts in Japan, Maldives, Philippines, Indonesia, PNG, Australia, Palau, FSM, Marshall Islands, ...)?

I collaborate with local and regional conservation NGOs, including The Nature Conservancy (Coral Triangle, Micronesia), IUCN (Pacific, Maldives), World Wildlife Fund (Malaysia), Marshall Islands Conservation Society (Republic of the Marshall Islands). I also work with government agencies, such as the NSW Department of Primary Industries and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in Australia.

Coral Reef


Research interests

I am a quantitative marine ecologist and conservation scientist integrating field data, spatial models and decision science to find conservation solutions that link theory and practice. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

Please contact me to discuss potential PhD  projects in the fields of:

  • Marine ecology
  • Spatial conservation planning
  • Climate change ecology

See also:

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>