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Dr Dan Exton

Research Advisor

Dan is a marine biologist with a broad range of interests around coral reef ecology and conservation, and now leads Opwall’s research and conservation efforts globally. He has an undergraduate degree in marine and freshwater biology, a masters in environmental governance, and a PhD in marine production of biogenic volatile organic compounds, all from the University of Essex, where he currently holds an Honorary Lectureship. Dan has been involved in expeditions for over 15 years, and first joined Opwall as a volunteer to complete his undergraduate dissertation project in Indonesia in 2005. He is a qualified PADI Divemaster and technical diver with over 2000 logged dives, and has led more than 20 expeditions worldwide. Dan now co-supervises a team of PhD students, and manages largescale conservation intervention projects via his role as scientific advisor to the Wallacea Trust.


O’Shea OR, Van Leeuwen TE, O’Brien DA, Arrowsmith L, McCalman R, Griffiths M, Exton DA (In Press) Evidence and description of a nursery habitat for the recently reclassified stingray Styracura schmardae from The Bahamas. Marine Ecology Progress Series

Romain JJ, Exton DA, Smith DJ, Rose A, Vondriska C, Titus BM (In Press) Comparative cleaning behaviour of Pederson’s cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) between geographically close yet ecologically dissimilar coral reef habitats. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Hunt CL, Andradi-Brown DA, Hudson CJ, Bennett-Williams J, Noades F, Curtis-Quick J, Lewis OT, Exton DA (2020) Shelter use interactions of invasive lionfish with commercially and ecologically important native invertebrates on Caribbean coral reefs. PLOS One 15(8): e0236200

Exton DA, Ahmadia GN, Cullen-Unsworth LC, Jompa J, May D, Rice J, Simonin PW, Unsworth RKF, Smith DJ (2019) Artisanal fish fences pose broad and unexpected threats to the tropical coastal seascape. Nature Communications 10: 2100

Hunt CL, Kelly GR, Windmill H, Curtis-Quick J, Conlon H, Bodmer MDV, Rogers AD, Exton DA (2019) Aggregating behaviour in invasive Caribbean lionfish is driven by habitat complexity. Nature Scientific Reports 9: 783

Titus BM, Daly M, Vondriska C, Hamilton I, Exton DA (2019) Lack of strategic service provisioning by Pederson’s cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) highlights independent evolution of cleaning behaviours between ocean basins. Nature Scientific Reports 9: 629

Laverick JH, Piango S, Andradi-Brown DA, Exton DA, Bongaerts P, Bridge TCL, Lesser MP, Pyle RL, Slattery M, Wagner D, Rogers AD (2018) To what extent do mesophotic coral ecosystems and shallow reefs share species of conservation interest? A systematic review. Environmental Evidence 7: 15

Andradi-Brown DA, Gress E, Laverick JH, Monfared MAA, Rogers AD, Exton DA (2017) Wariness of reef fish to passive diver presence with varying dive gear type across a coral reef depth gradient. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Andradi-Brown DA, Grey R, Hendrix A, Hitchner D, Hunt CL, Gress E, Madej K, Parry RL, Régnier-McKellar C, Jones O, Arteaga M, Izaguirre AP, Rogers AD, Exton DA (2017) Depth-dependent effects of culling – do mesophotic lionfish populations undermine current management? Royal Society Open Science DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170027

Young GC, Dey S, Rogers AD, Exton DA (2017) Cost and time-effective framework for multi-scale measures of rugosity, fractal dimension, and vector dispersion from coral reef 3D models. PLOS One 12(4): e0175341

Bodmer MDV, Wheeler PM, Hendrix AM, Cesarano DN, East AS, Exton DA (2017) Interacting effects of temperature, habitat and phenotype on predator avoidance behaviour in Diadema antillarum: implications for restorative conservation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 566: 105-115

Andradi-Brown DA, Head C, Exton DA, Hunt C, Hendrix A, Gress E, Rogers AD (2017) Identifying zooplankton community changes between shallow and upper-mesophotic reefs on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean. PeerJ 5: e2853

Andradi-Brown DA, Vermeij MJA, Slattery M, Lesser M, Bejarano I, Appeldoorn R, Goodbody-Gringley G, Chequer AD, Pitt JM, Eddy C, Smith SR, Brokovich E, Pinheiro HT, Jessup E, Shepherd B, Rocha LA, Curtis-Quick J, Eyal G, Noyes TJ, Rogers AD, Exton DA (2017) Large scale invasion of Western Atlantic mesophotic reefs by lionfish potentially undermines culling-based management. Biological Invasions 1-16

Andradi-Brown DA, Macaya-Solis C, Exton DA, Gress E, Wright G, Rogers AD (2016) Assessing Caribbean shallow and mesophotic reef fish communities using baited-remote underwater video (BRUV) and diver-operated video (DOV) survey techniques. PLOS One 11(12): e0168235

Laverick JH, Andradi-Brown DA, Exton DA, Bongaerts P, Bridge TCL, Lesser MP, Pyle RL, Slattery M, Wagner D, Rogers AD (2016) To what extent do mesophotic coral ecosystems and shallow reefs share species of conservation interest? Environmental Evidence 5: 16

Andradi-Brown DA, Gress E, Wright G, Exton DA, Rogers AD (2016) Reef fish community biomass and trophic structure changes across shallow to upper-mesophotic reefs in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Caribbean. PLOS One 11(6): e0156641

Titus BM, Daly M, Exton DA (2015) Temporal patterns of Pederson shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni Chase 1958) cleaning interactions on Caribbean coral reefs. Marine Biology 162(8): 1651-1664

Bodmer MDV, Rogers AD, Speight MR, Lubbock N, Exton DA (2015) Using an isolated population boom to explore barriers to recovery in the keystone Caribbean coral reef herbivore Diadema antillarum. Coral Reefs 34(4): 1011-1021

Titus BM, Daly M, Exton DA (2015) Do reef fish habituate to diver presence? Evidence from two reef sites with contrasting historical levels of SCUBA intensity in the Bay Islands, Honduras. PLOS One 10(3): e0119645.

Exton DA, McGenity TJ, Steinke M, Smith DJ, Suggett DJ (2014) Uncovering the volatile nature of tropical coastal marine ecosystems in a changing world. Global Change Biology 21(4): 1383-1394

Exton DA, Simonin P, Smith DJ (2014) Fisheries Management: Artisanal Subsistence and Community-based Management. In: Harris PG, Lang G (eds.) Routledge Handbook of East Asia and the Environment. Routledge, London, UK

Exton DA, Suggett DJ, McGenity TJ, Steinke M (2013) Chlorophyll-normalized isoprene production in laboratory cultures of marine microalgae and implications for global models. Limnology and Oceanography 58(4): 1301-1311

Exton DA, Suggett DJ, Steinke M, McGenity TJ (2012) Spatial and temporal variability of biogenic isoprene emissions from a temperate estuary. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 26: GB2012

Steinke M, Exton DA, McGenity TJ (2011) Challenges to the biochemist: Marine gases. Biochemist 33(3): 20-25

Exton DA, Smith DJ (2011) Coral reef fisheries and the role of communities in their management. In: Intilli JS (eds.) Fishery Management. NOVA Science Publishers, New York, USA. ISBN: 978-1-61209-682-7

Exton DA, Smith DJ, McGenity TJ, Steinke M, Hills A, Suggett DJ (2010) Application of a Fast Isoprene Sensor (FIS) for measuring isoprene production from marine samples. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 8: 185-195

Exton DA (2010) Nearshore fisheries of the Wakatobi. In: Clifton J, Unsworth RKF, Smith DJ (eds.) Marine Research and Conservation in the Coral Triangle. NOVA Science Publishers, New York, USA. ISBN: 978-1-61668-473-0

Acuña Alvarez L, Exton DA, Suggett DJ, Timmis KN, McGenity TJ (2009) Characterization of marine isoprene-degrading communities. Environmental Microbiology 11(12): 3280-3291

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