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About Dr Sander Scheffers

Dr Sander Scheffers MSc(Amsterdam), PhD(Amsterdam)
Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to the threats of global climate change and local degradation from human activity. Many reefs (e.g. Caribbean) have already crossed critical ecological thresholds. Even the Great Barrier Reef, commonly regarded as the world�s best managed coral reef system, is in decline from the combination of ongoing human impacts, such as land-based pollution, and in an increased frequency and severity of coral bleaching. Rapidly rising levels of atmospheric CO2 levels is causing global warming as well as perturbing the oceans carbonate chemistry in a process known as 'ocean acidification'. These local environmental and the now inevitable impacts of global climate change are assessed using long-term geochemical records from fossil and modern coral cores.
My group, together with collaborators Prof Malcolm McCulloch (UWA), Prof Jian-xin Zhao (UQ), Dr. Thomas Felis (University of Bremen, is using these long-term coral records from e.g. Caribbean, Thailand, GBR, Ningaloo to distinguish long-term natural variability from more recent anthropogenic impacts that are now affecting coral reefs and their marine environment.
The past is a window into the future. In reconstructing past environments we can more Taking reef core samplesaccurately predict future trajectories of ecosystems. Specifically, historical analyses are an essential tool for understanding the current state of coral reefs, how they got to that state, and for devising a strategy for their restoration. With our experience of palaeo-environments in coral reef ecosystems of the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific / Australasian regions, we will be able to provide a valuable contribution to discussions on accuracy and uncertainties of longer-term data needed in sound decision-making.


Present Senior Lecturer, Southern Cross University School of Environment, Science and Engineering

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Contact Information

PO Box 157
Lismore NSW
Australia 2480
Phone: (+61 2) 66203277


Journal articles (47)