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Alberto Rovellini

Alberto is a PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund. He is a marine ecologist with an interest in coral reefs and their possible future regime shifts and alternative states due to rapidly changing oceans. Alberto’s research focuses on sponges, how they will cope with warmer and more acidic waters, and the functions they will cover on the reefs of the future. Since sponges might, to an extent, be among the “winners” of the climate change game, it is now crucial to understand how sponge reefs could form and function, how food webs could be reshaped around them, and ultimately what such shifts could mean for human use of marine ecosystems. Alberto is addressing these questions with the development of statistical and simulation models, useful tools to project our knowledge from experimental and field studies into the future, and have a glimpse of how reefs might look like in a few decades from now.

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