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Doctor Christopher Goatley

Dr Christopher Goatley

Lecturer in Marine Biology

Research interests

  • Fish ecology, evolution and biogeography
  • Impact of sediments on coral reef ecology
  • Palaeoecology of reef ecosystems

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.

Connect with Christopher


I am a lecturer in Marine Biology and Ecology in the School of Ocean and Earth Science, based at the National Oceanography Centre.

My research focuses on the functional ecology of reef fishes. I use a variety of techniques, including field studies, lab-based morphological and molecular techniques, and 3D imaging, to explore how fish work as animals (their biomechanics) and the functions they perform in complex marine ecosystems. Recently my work has focussed on some of the world's smallest vertebrates; cryptobenthic reef fishes. These tiny fishes are highly abundant on coral reefs, but their lives are incredibly short. By living fast and dying young, these small fishes help fuel dynamic food webs on coral reefs and maintain the productivity of these diverse ecosystems.