School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Event items

Combined effects of multiple stressors in marine ecosystems

Marine Seminar Series - Professor Tasman Crowe, University College Dublin

Date/Time: Thursday 14 February 2019, 16:00 - 17:00

Venue: Ridley Building 2, Room 1.63


Ecosystems are affected by multiple anthropogenic stressors from a wide range of sources. Global changes to climate and ocean chemistry will inevitably occur over the coming decades, with complex regional and local effects.

As well as directly affecting ecosystems, changes will also alter ecosystem resistance and resilience to non-climatic stressors, such as nutrient and oil pollution, and those caused by fisheries, tourism, construction, bioinvasions, etc. 

Although we have some understanding of the effects of individual stressors, we currently have little basis for predicting the effects of particular combinations of stressors on ecosystem structure and functioning. 

Such predictions are challenging because combinations of stressors may modify each other’s effects via a number of mechanisms.

Experimental evidence will be presented for variation in impact of multiple stressors on marine ecosystems arising through different regimes of disturbance and variation in the relative concentrations / magnitudes of stressors.

Some examples will also be provided of the application of knowledge of multiple stressor effects to environmental management.


Professor Tasman Crowe is Director of the UCD Earth Institute and a member of the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin.

He is a marine ecologist with particular interest in research applicable to environmental policy and management. His research has characterised individual and combined impacts of a range of stressors on marine benthic ecosystems, particularly on rocky shores.

He has also worked on biomonitoring tools, eco-engineering of artificial structures, stock enhancement, invasive species, marine protected areas, the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning and the cultural value of marine ecosystems.

He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and has edited a book for Cambridge University Press entitled Marine ecosystems: human impacts on biodiversity, functioning and services (2015). 

He is a member of the editorial board of Cambridge University Press’s Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation Series and of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Forum. He is currently President of the European Marine Biology Symposium series and his group will be hosting the symposium in Dublin in August 2019.