School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Matthew Jankowski

Project description

I am an MRes student working with Professor Nick Polunin and Dr Clare Fitzsimmons. I work on a project in the St. Marys to Coquet Marine Conservation zone (MCZ) on the Northumberland Coast.

During the past 20 years there has been increased focus, due to advances in technology, on deeper ‘mesophotic’ (30-150m) reefs and habitats and their associated communities.

This is with the idea that these habitats could potentially be areas of refuge from increasing impacts in shallow habitats.

The project will investigate fish communities and their associations with different depths and habitats within the MCZ.

Depth and habitat are very important factors in the marine environment. They can have strong influences on distributions, habitat use and specialisation of fish species and communities.

The project aims to shed some light on what fish communities are present in the MCZ and what habitats and depths they are associating with.

This information could be very important to the future management of the MCZ.

It will involve the use of baited remote underwater video (BRUV) and baited trap survey techniques.


  • Jankowski M W, Gardiner N R and Jones G P (2015) Depth and reef profile: effects on the distribution and abundance of coral reef fishes. Environ Biol Fish 98(5), 1373-1386.                                        
  • Jankowski M W, Graham N A J, Jones G P (2015) Depth gradients in diversity, distribution and habitat specialisation in coral reef fishes: implications for the depth-refuge hypothesis. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 540, 203-215.


Scuba diving, marine environment, coral reefs, nature and animals, travel, cooking, football, basketball, NFL, rugby and music


  • BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology (Newcastle University)
  • MappSci in Marine Biology (James Cook University)
  • PhD in Marine Biology (James Cook University)
  • PADI Divemaster