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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute
(023) 8059 3275

Dr Marc Rius PhD

Visiting Academic

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Dr Marc Rius is a visiting academic within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

My research focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms that determine species ranges and how human activities reshape biotic communities. My research group (Ecology & Evolution Lab) incorporates cutting-edge analytical and genetic techniques to conduct studies on biogeography, community ecology, population genetics and conservation biology.

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2015 - present: Research Fellow, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

2014 - present: Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Southampton

2013: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes, Spain

2011-2012: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis, United States of America

2009-2010: Centre for Invasion Biology Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa

2008: PhD (Biological Sciences), University of Barcelona, Spain

2004: MSc (Marine Biology), Rhodes University, South Africa

Research interests

Genetics and colonisation

Range-shifting species are often characterised by high levels of genetic diversity as a result of propagules from multiple sources, recurrent introductions and genetic admixture. Our research group develops novel genetic tools and implements innovative analytical techniques to understand how different genetic signatures influence range shifts.

Evolutionary history and speciation

Many of the world’s coastal regions contain a large proportion of marine species that cannot be clearly identified due to a lack of systematic, biogeographical and historical evidence. We combine genetic and taxonomic analyses to improve our understanding of phylogenetic relationships and cryptic marine biodiversity.

Community ecology and life cycles

Many organisms have complex life cycles whereby individuals undergo dramatic developmental transitions before reaching adulthood. Little is known about how multiple ecological and evolutionary mechanisms interact across the life cycle. We study interactions across multiple life-history stages to assess the relative role of these mechanisms in determining species distributions.

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Conducting experiments to understand ecological interactions and community dynamics



Using DNA and RNA to address ecological and evolutionary questions



Sampling across divergent biogeographic coastal regions

PhD students

Abigail Mabey
Robyn Samuel 
Kathryn Pack
Luke Holman
Ella McKnight
Jamie Hudson

Former PhD students

Steve Bourne
Edward Wort
Rachael Graham

Research group

Marine Biology and Ecology

Research project(s)

The role of habitat gaps and oceanography on the biogeography of rocky intertidal species over historic time scales

Environmental DNA and the study of marine biological invasions

The genomics of adaptation and its consequences for marine biological invasions

The role of climate change, species invasions and hybridisation in the redistribution of marine biodiversity

The influence of environmental variability on the ecological performance of native and non-native marine organisms

Hybridisation of marine biota on a changing planet

Building Resilience in Galápagos Ecosystem Management to Severe Climate Change (R-GEMS)

Development and application of molecular surveillance methods to facilitate the spatial mapping of marine invasive species in Irish nearshore and benthic habitats

Climate change and future marine ecosystem services and biodiversity (FUTUREMARES)

Designing climate policy requires understanding to what extent contemporary climate change jeopardizes ecosystem functioning and services. FutureMARES proposes to develop evidence-based guidance at appropriate spatial and temporal scales for nature-based solutions across a broad range of European and other marine and transitional systems.

A comprehensive framework to assess the effects of methane seeps activity on deep-sea assemblages

Methane seeps represent truly unique ecosystems and despite substantial research in recent years, a great deal of fundamental knowledge remains undiscovered. This collaborative project will provide the first comprehensive comparison of marine species richness patterns across seeps of different levels of activity.

Marine biodiversity and genomics: from Population to Communities (PopCOmics)

PopCOmics seeks to apply novel molecular techniques to address challenges in marine biology research with application to societal problems and conservation goals. We will focus on comparisons of natural and impacted benthic habitats and analyse changes symbiont communities in invertebrates as a response to anthropogenic perturbations.

SOES1011 Introduction to Functional Marine Biology

SOES1013 Key Skills for Marine Scientists

SOES1006 Introduction to marine ecology

SOES2027 Coastal and Estuarine Oceanography II

SOES3031 Marine molecular biology

SOES3035 Oceanography research training

SOES3054 Marine Conservation and Policy

SOES6001 Contemporary topics

SOES6051 Reproduction in marine animals

SOES6052 Tropical Marine Biology Field Course

ERASMUS coordinator

Dr Marc Rius
No longer based at NOCS.

Room Number : NOCS/566/14

Facsimile: (023) 8059 3059

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