Dr Nicholas Higgs
Deputy Director of the Marine Institute
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
As Deputy Director, I am responsible for the academic operational management of the Marine Institute. I work in support of the Director in leading and championing the provision of high quality research, scholarship and external engagement within Marine Institute.I also maintain a research portfolio and am an active researcher in the Marine Biology, Ecology and Conservation theme.
You can find out more about me and my research at nickhiggs.com
Marine Biological Association of the UK
Challenger Society for Marine Science
British Ecological Society
Roles on external bodies
I coordinate the Deep-Sea Ecosystems special interest group in the Challenger Society for Marine Science
I have completed the General Teaching Associates course and am in theprocess of obtaining accreditation as Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I currently teach on the Biological Oceanography (level 3) and CoastalHabitats field-course (level 2) modules at Plymouth University.
I also supervise students for their independent research projects atundergraduate honours and masters level.
My research interests are broadly based around the ecology of the sea-bed environment, most recently tropical seagrass ecosystems and the lobster fisheries that they support in the Caribbean.
My previous work has been based in the deep ocean, looking at the ecology of of communities that form around dead-whale carcasses in the deep-sea, especially the unusual Osedax bone-worms. Much of this work has been interdisclipinary, at the interface of marine biology and palaeontology, investigating the processes of organic matter recycling in benthic habitats.
The common thread running through these different areas of research has been the role of chemosynthetic processes in recycling organic matter. In both deep ocean and shallow environments, high inputs of organic matter create the conditions where chemosynthesis can play a significant role in sustaining biological communities.
I have also helped to develop the World Register of Deep-Sea Species; a subsection of the World Register of Marine Species database. This portal contains a taxonomic database of deep-sea species with an image gallery and links to identification keys and guides. This database will soon be released as a portable app for iOS devices: Deep-Sea ID.
I have also worked on the reproduction of brooding bivalves in the Antarctic, wood-boring bivalves from the deep-sea and species richness patterns in deep-sea brittle stars.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
You can find out more about me and my research on my website: