Dr Natalie Hicks

School of Life Sciences
Dr Natalie Hicks

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Marine Benthic Biogeochemistry

Carbon and oxygen dynamics in marine sediments (coastal and shelf) - includes carbon stocks and sequestration, 'blue carbon' and nature based solutions, and carbon cycling

Key words: Carbon cycling

Carbon cycling

Blue carbon

Carbon sequestration

Climate change in marine ecosystems

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Transferable Skills in Life Sciences (BS143)

  • Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists (BS257)

  • Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module (BS303)

  • Climate Change and Pollution (BS345)

  • Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module (Assessed in Following Year) (BS417)

  • Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology (BS708)

  • Research Project: MSc Tropical Marine Biology (BS782)

  • Research Project in Life Sciences (BS832)

  • Employability Skills for the Biosciences (BS211)


Journal articles (18)

Fox, C., Webb, C., Grant, J., Brain, S., Fraser, S., Abell, R. and Hicks, N., (2023). Measuring and modelling the dispersal of salmon farm organic waste over sandy sediments. Aquaculture Environment Interactions. 15, 251-269

McLean, DL., Ferreira, LC., Benthuysen, JA., Miller, KJ., Schläppy, M-L., Ajemian, MJ., Berry, O., Birchenough, SNR., Bond, T., Boschetti, F., Bull, AS., Claisse, JT., Condie, SA., Consoli, P., Coolen, JWP., Elliott, M., Fortune, IS., Fowler, AM., Gillanders, BM., Harrison, HB., Hart, KM., Henry, L-A., Hewitt, CL., Hicks, N., Hock, K., Hyder, K., Love, M., Macreadie, PI., Miller, RJ., Montevecchi, WA., Nishimoto, MM., Page, HM., Paterson, DM., Pattiaratchi, CB., Pecl, GT., Porter, JS., Reeves, DB., Riginos, C., Rouse, S., Russell, DJF., Sherman, CDH., Teilmann, J., Todd, VLG., Treml, EA., Williamson, DH. and Thums, M., (2022). Influence of offshore oil and gas structures on seascape ecological connectivity.. Global Change Biology. 28 (11), 3515-3536

Lérida-Toro, V., Abascal, U., Villa-Alfageme, M., Klar, J., Hicks, N. and López-Gutiérrez, JM., (2022). ¹²⁹I in sediment cores from the Celtic Sea by AMS through a microwave digestion process. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms. 529, 61-67

Graves, CA., Benson, L., Aldridge, J., Austin, WEN., Dal Molin, F., Fonseca, VG., Hicks, N., Hynes, C., Kröger, S., Lamb, PD., Mason, C., Powell, C., Smeaton, C., Wexler, SK., Woulds, C. and Parker, R., (2022). Sedimentary carbon on the continental shelf: Emerging capabilities and research priorities for Blue Carbon. Frontiers in Marine Science. 9

Legge, O., Johnson, M., Hicks, N., Jickells, T., Diesing, M., Aldridge, J., Andrews, J., Artioli, Y., Bakker, DCE., Burrows, MT., Carr, N., Cripps, G., Felgate, SL., Fernand, L., Greenwood, N., Hartman, S., Kröger, S., Lessin, G., Mahaffey, C., Mayor, DJ., Parker, R., Queirós, AM., Shutler, JD., Silva, T., Stahl, H., Tinker, J., Underwood, GJC., Van Der Molen, J., Wakelin, S., Weston, K. and Williamson, P., (2020). Carbon on the Northwest European Shelf: Contemporary Budget and Future Influences. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7

Guamán-Guevara, F., Austin, H., Hicks, N., Streeter, R. and Austin, WEN., (2019). Impacts of ocean acidification on intertidal benthic foraminiferal growth and calcification. PLoS ONE. 14 (8), e0220046-e0220046

Ingels, J., dos Santos, G., Hicks, N., Vazquez, YV., Neres, PF., Pontes, LP., Amorim, MN., Román, S., Du, Y., Stahl, H., Somerfield, PJ. and Widdicombe, S., (2018). Short-term CO₂ exposure and temperature rise effects on metazoan meiofauna and free-living nematodes in sandy and muddy sediments: Results from a flume experiment. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 502, 211-226

Hicks, N., Liu, X., Gregory, R., Kenny, J., Lucaci, A., Lenzi, L., Paterson, DM. and Duncan, KR., (2018). Temperature Driven Changes in Benthic Bacterial Diversity Influences Biogeochemical Cycling in Coastal Sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology. 9 (AUG), 1730-

Hicks, N., Ubbara, GR., Silburn, B., Smith, HEK., Kröger, S., Parker, ER., Sivyer, D., Kitidis, V., Hatton, A., Mayor, DJ. and Stahl, H., (2017). Oxygen dynamics in shelf seas sediments incorporating seasonal variability. Biogeochemistry. 135 (1-2), 35-47

Thompson, CEL., Silburn, B., Williams, ME., Hull, T., Sivyer, D., Amoudry, LO., Widdicombe, S., Ingels, J., Carnovale, G., McNeill, CL., Hale, R., Marchais, CL., Hicks, N., Smith, HEK., Klar, JK., Hiddink, JG., Kowalik, J., Kitidis, V., Reynolds, S., Woodward, EMS., Tait, K., Homoky, WB., Kröger, S., Bolam, S., Godbold, JA., Aldridge, J., Mayor, DJ., Benoist, NMA., Bett, BJ., Morris, KJ., Parker, ER., Ruhl, HA., Statham, PJ. and Solan, M., (2017). An approach for the identification of exemplar sites for scaling up targeted field observations of benthic biogeochemistry in heterogeneous environments. Biogeochemistry. 135 (1-2), 1-34

Silburn, B., Kröger, S., Parker, ER., Sivyer, DB., Hicks, N., Powell, CF., Johnson, M. and Greenwood, N., (2017). Benthic pH gradients across a range of shelf sea sediment types linked to sediment characteristics and seasonal variability. Biogeochemistry. 135 (1-2), 69-88

Currie, AR., Tait, K., Parry, H., de Francisco-Mora, B., Hicks, N., Osborn, AM., Widdicombe, S. and Stahl, H., (2017). Marine Microbial Gene Abundance and Community Composition in Response to Ocean Acidification and Elevated Temperature in Two Contrasting Coastal Marine Sediments. Frontiers in Microbiology. 8 (AUG), 1599-

Aldridge, JN., Lessin, G., Amoudry, LO., Hicks, N., Hull, T., Klar, JK., Kitidis, V., McNeill, CL., Ingels, J., Parker, ER., Silburn, B., Silva, T., Sivyer, DB., Smith, HEK., Widdicombe, S., Woodward, EMS., van der Molen, J., Garcia, L. and Kröger, S., (2017). Comparing benthic biogeochemistry at a sandy and a muddy site in the Celtic Sea using a model and observations. Biogeochemistry. 135 (1-2), 155-182

Hicks, N., Ubbara, GR., Silburn, B., Smith, HEK., Kröger, S., Parker, ER., Sivyer, D., Kitidis, V., Hatton, A., Mayor, DJ. and Stahl, H., (2017). Oxygen dynamics in shelf seas sediments incorporating seasonal variability.. Biogeochemistry. 135 (1), 35-47

Hicks, N., Vik, U., Taylor, P., Ladoukakis, E., Park, J., Kolisis, F. and Jakobsen, KS., (2017). Using Prokaryotes for Carbon Capture Storage. Trends in Biotechnology. 35 (1), 22-32

Hicks, N., Vik, U., Taylor, P., Ladoukakis, E., Park, J., Kolisis, F., Stahl, H. and Jakobsen, KS., (2015). Reviews and synthesis: Carbon capture and storage monitoring – an integrated biological, biophysical and chemical approach. Biogeosciences Discussions. 12 (12), 8909-8937

Hicks, N., Bulling, MT., Solan, M., Raffaelli, D., White, PCL. and Paterson, DM., (2011). Impact of biodiversity-climate futures on primary production and metabolism in a model benthic estuarine system.. BMC Ecology. 11 (1), 7-7

Bulling, MT., Hicks, N., Murray, L., Paterson, DM., Raffaelli, D., White, PCL. and Solan, M., (2010). Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 365 (1549), 2107-2116

Book chapters (1)

Stafford, R., Ashley, M., Clavey, L., Esteves, LS., Hicks, N., Jones, A., Leonard, P., Luisetti, T., Martin, A., Parker, R., Rees, S., Schratzberger, M. and Unsworth, R., (2021). Coastal and Marine Systems. In: Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK: A Report by the British Ecological Society. Editors: Stafford, R., Chamberlain, B., Clavey, L., Gillingham, P., McKain, S., Morecroft, M., Morrison-Bell, C. and Watts, O., . British Ecological Society. 107- 120

Reports and Papers (1)

Clive, F., Hicks, N., Webb, C., Grant, J., Brain, S., Fraser, S. and Abell, R., Improving understanding of fish farm organic waste dispersal in higher energy environments

Grants and funding


ORBIT: Offshore Renewables: winds of change for Benthic communities?

Natural Environment Research Council

PhD Studentship Intertidal seagrass dynamics, recovery and role in nature based solutions

Harwich Haven Authority


Functionality and Ecological Connectivity of Man-Made Structures (FuECoMMS)

Natural Environment Research Council

EPStromNet - Extant Peritidal Stromatolite Network

Natural Environment Research Council

Ecosystem Management: Building Resilience and Adaptability to Coastal Climate Change Effects

Economic and Social Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 873308


3SW.3.08, Colchester Campus

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