Dr Kirsty McQuaid
Profiles

Dr Kirsty McQuaid

One Ocean Hub Research Fellow

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Biography

Biography

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the University of Plymouth, in the Marine Conservation Research Group. I work on deep-sea ecosystems, trying to better understand the environmental drivers of biological variation in megafauna communities, and using this information to support habitat classification, mapping and Marine Spatial Planning. I am currently working on One Ocean Hub, a large, collaborative, transdisciplinary project aimed at transforming our approach to ocean governance and research, with a focus on the South Atlantic and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. As part of this work I am leading the establishment of a network aimed at developing capacity for deep-sea research in Africa, the African Network of Deep-water Researchers.

Qualifications

2019 PhD, University of Plymouth, England: Ecological Studies of an Abyssal Nodule Province to Inform the Management of  Deep-sea Mining
2013 MSc in Applied Marine Science, University of Cape Town, South Africa 
2011 BSc Hons in Marine Biology, Rhodes University, South Africa
2010 BSc in Zoology and Botany, Rhodes University, South Africa

Professional membership

Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) Minerals Working Groupmember (2019 - present)Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) BBNJ Working Groupmember (2020 - present)
Deep-sea Biology Society
UN Early Career Ocean Professionals ProgrammeAfrica Nodemember (2021 - present)

Roles on external bodies

South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Marine Ecosystem Classification & Mapping Committee (2020-2025)Challenger 150Regional Scientific Research Working Groupco-Coordinator for the Central & South Atlantic, and Early Career Focal Point
Coordinator of the African Network of Deep-water Researchers
Research

Research

Research interests

My research focuses on deep-sea benthic ecology, habitat classification and habitat mapping, aimed at improving environmental management of human activities in the deep sea, particularly through marine spatial planning. This work is focused mainly in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.My PhD research was aimed at improving understanding of the epibenthic megafauna communities in abyssal areas targeted for deep-sea mining of polymetallic nodules, and supporting the environmental management of mining activities through recommendations on environmental survey design and spatial planning. I explored the megafauna community associated with nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ, eastern central Pacific) through analysis of historic black and white imagery, and investigated appropriate sampling units to support baseline environmental sampling in this area. I also produced a habitat classification of the CCZ management area and assessed the habitat representativity of the current protected area network in this region.
This PhD research was funded by UK Seabed Resources Ltd, as part of the International Seabed Authority’s training programmefor capacity building in developing nations. My supervisory team consisted of Prof Kerry Howell(Plymouth University), Prof Martin Attrill(Plymouth University), Dr Adrian Glover(Natural History Museum), and Prof Craig Smith(University of Hawai’i at Manoa).
I am also part of the Marine Conservation Research Groupat the University of Plymouth and the Deep Sea Conversation Research Unit.
Publications

Publications

Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Journals
  • Morgera E, McQuaid K, La Bianca G, Niner H, Shannon L, Strand M, Rees S, Howell K, Snow B, Lancaster AMSN & Sauer W. 2023. Addressing the Ocean-Climate Nexus in the BBNJ Agreement: Strategic Environmental Assessments, Human Rights and Equity in Ocean Science. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 38: 1–33. DOI: 10.1163/15718085-bja10139.
  • Simon-Lledó E, Amon D, Bribiesca‐Contreras G, Cuvelier D, Durden JM, Ramalho SP, Uhlenkott K, Arbizu PM, Benoist N, Copley J, Dahlgren TG, Glover AG, Fleming B, Horton T, Ju SJ, Mejía-Saenz A, McQuaid K, Pape E, Park C, Smith CR & Jones DOB. 2023. Carbonate compensation depth drives abyssal biogeography in the northeast Pacific. Nature Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-023-02122-9.
  • La Bianca G, Rees S, Attrill MJ, Lombard AT, McQuaid KA, Niner HJ, van Rein H, Sink KJ & Howell, KL. 2023. A standardised ecosystem services framework for the deep sea. Frontiers in Marine Science 10. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1176230.
  • McQuaid KA, Bridges AEH, Howell KL, Gandra TBR, de Souza V, Currie JC, Hogg OT, Pearman TRR, Bell JB, Atkinson LJ, Baum D, Bonetti J, Carranza A, Defeo O, Furey T, Gasalla MA, Golding N, Hampton SL, Horta S, Jones DOB, Lombard AT, Manca E, Marin Y, Martin S, Mortensen P, Passadore C, Piechaud N, Sink KJ & Yool A. 2023. Broad-scale benthic habitat classification of the South Atlantic. Progress in Oceanography 214. DOI: 10.1016/j.pocean.2023.103016.
  • Strand M, Ortega-Cisneros K, Niner HJ, Wahome M, Bell J, Currie JC, Hamukuaya H, La Bianca G, Lancaster AMSN, Maseka N, McDonald L, McQuaid K, Samuel MM & Winkler A. 2022. Transdisciplinarity in transformative ocean governance research - reflections of early career researchers. ICES Journal of Marine Science 79(8): 2163-2177. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsac165.
  • Bribiesca-Contreras G, Dahlgren TG, Horton T, Drazen JC, Drennan R, Jones DOB, Leitner AB, McQuaid KA, Smith CR, Taboada S, Wiklund H & Glover AG. 2022. Benthic megafauna of the western Clarion-Clipperton Zone, Pacific Ocean. ZooKeys 1113: 1-110. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1113.82172.
  • Harden-Davies H, Amon DJ, Vierros M, Bax NJ, Hanich Q, Hills JM, Guilhon M, McQuaid KA, Mohammed E, Pouponneau A, Seto KL, Sink K, Talma S & Woodall L. 2022. Capacity development in the Ocean Decade and beyond: Key questions about meanings, motivations, pathways, and measurements. Earth System Governance 12: 100138. DOI: 10.1016/j.esg.2022.100138.
  • Niner HJ, Barut NC, Baum T, Diz D, Laínez del Pozo D, Laing S, Lancaster AMSN, McQuaid KA, Mendo T, Morgera E, Maharaj PN, Okafor-Yarwood I, Ortega-Cisneros K, Warikandwa TV & Rees S. 2021. Issues of context, capacity and scale: Essential conditions and missing links for a sustainable blue economy. Environmental Science & Policy 130: 25-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.01.001.
  • Bribiesca-Contreras G, Dahlgren TG, Drazen JC, Drennan R, Horton T, Jones DOB, Leitner AB, McQuaid KA, Smith CR, Taboada S, Wiklund H & Glover AG. 2021. Biogeography and connectivity across habitat types and geographical scales in Pacific abyssal scavenging amphipods. Frontiers in Marine Science 8:705237. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2021.705237.
  • McQuaid KA, Attrill MJ, Clark MR, Cobley A, Glover AG, Smith CR & Howell KL. 2020. Using habitat classification to assess representativity of a protected area network in a large, data-poor area targeted for deep-sea mining. Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 1066. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2020.558860.
  • Dunn et al [& workshop participants, including McQuaid K]. 2018. A strategy for the conservation of biodiversity on mid-ocean ridges from deep-sea mining. Science Advances 4(7). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar4313.
  • Glover AG, Dahlgren TG, Taboada S, Paterson G, Wiklund H, Waeschenbach A, Cobley A, Martínez P, Kaiser S, Schnurr S, Khodami S, Raschka U, Kersken D, Stuckas H, Menot L, Bonifacio P, Vanreusel A, Macheriotou L, Cunha M, Hilário A, Rodrigues C, Colaço A, Ribeiro P, Błażewicz M, Gooday AJ, Jones DOB, Billett DSM, Goineau A, Amon DJ, Smith CR, Patel T, McQuaid K, Spickermann R & Brager S. 2016. The London workshop on the biogeography and connectivity of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Research Ideas and Outcomes 2: e10528. DOI: 10.3897/rio.2.e10528.
  • McQuaid KA & Griffiths CL. 2014. Alien reef-building polychaete drives long-term changes in invertebrate biomass and diversity in a small, urban estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2013.12.016.
  • Cole VJ, McQuaid KA & McQuaid CD. 2012. Examination of small- and large-scale influences on the diet of an omnivorous polychaete indicates weak effects of upwelling. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 436-437: 28-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2012.08.013.





Articles
Niner HJ, Rees SE, La Bianca G, McQuaid KA & Howell KL (2024) 'A risk assessment for the remote ocean: the case of the South East Atlantic' Frontiers in Marine Science 10, , DOI Open access
Simon-Lledó E, Amon DJ, Bribiesca-Contreras G, Cuvelier D, Durden JM, Ramalho SP, Uhlenkott K, Arbizu PM, Benoist N & Copley J (2023) 'Carbonate compensation depth drives abyssal biogeography in the northeast Pacific' Nature Ecology & Evolution 7, (9) 1388-1397 , DOI Open access
Morgera E, McQuaid K, La Bianca G, Niner H, Shannon L, Strand M, Rees S, Howell K, Snow B & Lancaster AMSN (2023) 'Addressing the Ocean-Climate Nexus in the BBNJ Agreement: Strategic Environmental Assessments, Human Rights and Equity in Ocean Science' The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 38, (3) 447-479 , DOI Open access
La Bianca G, Rees S, Attrill MJ, Lombard AT, McQuaid KA, Niner HJ, van Rein H, Sink KJ & Howell KL (2023) 'A standardised ecosystem services framework for the deep sea' Frontiers in Marine Science 10, , DOI Open access
McQuaid KA, Bridges AEH, Howell KL, Gandra TBR, de Souza V, Currie JC, Hogg OT, Pearman TRR, Bell JB & Atkinson LJ (2023) 'Broad-scale benthic habitat classification of the South Atlantic' Progress in Oceanography 214, , DOI Open access
Strand M, Ortega-Cisneros K, Niner HJ, Wahome M, Bell J, Currie JC, Hamukuaya H, La Bianca G, Lancaster AMSN & Maseka N (2022) 'Transdisciplinarity in transformative ocean governance research—reflections of early career researchers' ICES Journal of Marine Science 79, (8) 2163-2177 , DOI Open access
Bribiesca-Contreras G, Dahlgren TG, Amon DJ, Cairns S, Drennan R, Durden JM, Eléaume MP, Hosie AM, Kremenetskaia A & McQuaid K (2022) 'Benthic megafauna of the western Clarion-Clipperton Zone, Pacific Ocean' ZooKeys 1113, 1-110 , DOI Open access
Harden-Davies H, Amon DJ, Vierros M, Bax NJ, Hanich Q, Hills JM, Guilhon M, McQuaid KA, Mohammed E & Pouponneau A (2022) 'Capacity development in the Ocean Decade and beyond: Key questions about meanings, motivations, pathways, and measurements' Earth System Governance 12, , DOI Open access
Niner HJ, Barut NC, Baum T, Diz D, Laínez del Pozo D, Laing S, Lancaster AMSN, McQuaid KA, Mendo T & Morgera E (2022) 'Issues of context, capacity and scale: Essential conditions and missing links for a sustainable blue economy' Environmental Science and Policy 130, 25-35 , DOI Open access
Bribiesca-Contreras G, Dahlgren TG, Horton T, Drazen JC, Drennan R, Jones DOB, Leitner AB, McQuaid KA, Smith CR & Taboada S (2021) 'Biogeography and Connectivity Across Habitat Types and Geographical Scales in Pacific Abyssal Scavenging Amphipods' Frontiers in Marine Science 8, , DOI Open access
McQuaid KA, Attrill MJ, Clark MR, Cobley A, Glover AG, Smith CR & Howell KL (2020) 'Using Habitat Classification to Assess Representativity of a Protected Area Network in a Large, Data-Poor Area Targeted for Deep-Sea Mining' Frontiers in Marine Science 7, , DOI Open access
Dunn DC, Van Dover CL, Etter RJ, Smith CR, Levin LA, Morato T, Colaço A, Dale AC, Gebruk AV & Gjerde KM (2018) 'A strategy for the conservation of biodiversity on mid-ocean ridges from deep-sea mining' Science Advances 4, (7) 0-0 , DOI Open access
Glover A, Dahlgren T, Taboada S, Paterson G, Wiklund H, Waeschenbach A, Cobley A, Martínez P, Kaiser S & Schnurr S (2016) 'The London Workshop on the Biogeography and Connectivity of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone' Research Ideas and Outcomes 2, , DOI Open access
McQuaid KA & Griffiths CL (2014) 'Alien reef-building polychaete drives long-term changes in invertebrate biomass and diversity in a small, urban estuary' Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 138, 101-106 , DOI
Cole VJ, McQuaid KA & McQuaid CD (2012) 'Examination of small- and large-scale influences on the diet of an omnivorous polychaete indicates weak effects of upwelling' Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 436-437, 28-35 , DOI
Chapters
Bridges AEH, Howell KL, Amaro T, Atkinson L, Barnes DKA, Bax N, Bell JB, Bernardino AF, Beuck L & Braga-Henriques A (2023) 'Review of the Central and South Atlantic Shelf and Deep-Sea Benthos: Science, Policy, and Management' Oceanography and Marine Biology CRC Press 127-218 , DOI
Reports

McQuaid K, Howell K, Muthumbi A, Adeoye O, Elegbede I, Adams L, Charuka B, Hilário A, Kadila H & Laarissa S (2024) Practical actions to strengthen capacity for deep-water research in Africa. Challenger 150 Programme , DOI Open access