Dispersal’s Role in Structuring Diversity at Hydrothermal Vents

  • Thu 15 Dec 22

    13:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus

    STEM 3.1

  • Event speaker

    Otis Brunner

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Life Sciences, School of

  • Contact details

    Dr Michelle Taylor

Connectivity is facilitated by the dispersal of planktonic larvae in most marine ecosystems. This dispersal can be simulated and used as a proxy for isolation to test assumptions of metacommunity dynamics.

Hydrothermal vents present a natural laboratory to study metacommunity dynamics, as an ecosystem that is truly discrete in space and connected via dispersal on stable and predictable deep-ocean currents.

Otis Brunner combined species’ distribution data and simulations of larval dispersal to explore metacommunity dynamics among a network of hydrothermal vents in the Northwest Pacific. This approach uses methods from graph theory to combine empirical observations and spatially explicit metacommunity simulations.

Otis will clarify the interacting effects regional dispersal and local selection have on structuring diversity at hydrothermal vents currently threatened by mining activity. This model is able to also incorporate anthropogenic impacts such as mining or global climate change to predict their effects on diversity at this vulnerable marine ecosystem.


Otis Brunner is originally from the Southwest of England and carried out his BSc (Honours) at the University of Plymouth in Marine Biology and Oceanography.

After multiple voluntary and short-term research positions he enrolled in a PhD program at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. He is currently coming to the end of his PhD and is looking to build an academic career on marine connectivity, using the various computational skills he has acquired.

How to attend

This seminar is being held in person in STEM 3.1 (STEM Centre on Square 1, Colchester campus). You can also watch via Zoom (meeting ID: 916 2270 2239)

If you have any queries about this seminar please email Dr Michelle Taylor (michelle.taylor@essex.ac.uk).

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