Tom Staveley

Thomas Staveley


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik
Telefon 08-16 12 08
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Rum N 207
Postadress Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig


I am carrying out my PhD entitled “Fish in the coastal seascape: exploring ecological processes and connectivity for conservation of temperate fish communities”

This project aims to increase the understanding of how the coastal seascape structure associate to spatial distribution, abundance and diversity of fish assemblages. This will lead to an improved knowledge on patterns and strength of connectivity within the marine landscape of shallow-water habitat patches. Field research is carried out on the Swedish west coast (in Bohuslän).

Currently, I am investigating movement patterns of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) throughout the shallow-water temperate seascape, through the use of acoustic telemetry.

I am part of the Seagrass Ecology & Physiology Research Group with supervision from Assoc. Prof. Martin Gullström (main) and Prof. Mats Björk. Also co-supervised by Prof. Regina Lindborg (Dep. of Physical Geography, SU).

General research interests:

- Marine spatial ecology
- Faunal assemblages in temperate coastal environments
- Marine conservation issues


Teaching & communication

  • Applied marine conservation ecology - assistant/ lecturer
  • Aquatic ecology - assistant/ lecturer
  • Marine biology - lecturer
  • Supervision of Bachelors and Masters students
  • Organiser and leader of ‘Communication, feedback and presentation techniques’ departmental workshop 2017 & 2018

Read more about my research in popular science at Fish Thinkers here.






I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2017. Thomas A. B. Staveley (et al.). Ecography 40 (8), 936-946

    Understanding how spatial patterning relates to ecological processes is fundamental to define important species-environment associations at broader scales. Analyses targeting habitat structure (i.e. composition and configuration) in terrestrial landscapes are increasing, but similar studies in marine landscapes are still relatively uncommon. In this study, we explored how seascape structure and complexity (determined from significant spatial pattern metrics) influenced summer and autumn fish assemblage composition in 30 seagrass (Zostera marina) meadows along the west coast of Sweden. Species density was not influenced by seascape structure in any season. In contrast, the majority of significant fish assemblage variables were influenced by seascape structure during the summer (i.e. abundance and proportion of juveniles, abundance of Labridae and abundance of occasional shallow-water visitors) whilst fewer in the autumn (i.e. abundance of occasional shallow-water visitors and Synganthidae). For instance, less complex seascapes were more suitable for juvenile assemblages in summer, as these seascapes exhibit larger patch sizes of appropriate habitat (e.g. Z. marina) and less edge boundaries providing refuges from predators and food resources. Abundances of migrating fish, such as the sea trout Salmo trutta, also responded positively to a less complex seascape in the summer though perhaps ecological processes, such as prey availability, were additional contributing factors driving this relationship. High complexity seascapes only had a positive influence on the abundance of taxa using multiple habitats (Labridae during the summer). Our study shows that fish assemblages in temperate marine environments are significantly linked to spatial habitat patterning and seascape complexity. This offers valuable insights into species-habitat-seascape linkages, information important for coastal conservation and marine spatial planning.

  • 2018. Diana Perry, Thomas A. B. Staveley, Martin Gullström. Frontiers in Marine Science 4

    Movements of organisms comprise a fundamental aspect of coastal habitat connectivity. Determining the distribution and co-existence of habitat specialists and generalists in shallow-water seascapes leads to a better understanding of the strength of connectivity-driven community patterns in coastal areas. In this study, unbaited Remote Underwater Video (RUV) systems were used to examine habitat usage and connectivity of fish within six shallow-water coastal seascapes on the Swedish west coast. Within each seascape, video sampling was conducted at three different shallow-water habitats: seagrass meadows, rock-macroalgae and unvegetated areas, in June 2014. Comparative analyses showed that the shallow-water fish community was similar in adjacent habitats within a seascape, though abundances of fish were higher within the structurally complex habitats. All habitats were dominated by juveniles, highlighting the importance of the coastal seascape for early fish life stages. The findings demonstrate that adjacent shallow-water habitats in temperate coastal waters are linked through similar species utilization and that the coastal matrix could be regarded in terms of a seascape nursery for fish. The study highlights the importance of considering shallow-water seascape connectivity in coastal conservation planning and management.

  • 2017. Diana Perry (et al.). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

    In shallow-water marine environments, ecosystem functioning is a complex interworking of fine-scale characteristics and region-wide factors, and the importance of these variables can vary on multiple temporal and spatial scales. This underwater video study targeted seasonal changes in the fish community of seagrass habitats along the Swedish west coast and the influence of offshore seascape variables (latitudinal position, wave exposure, open ocean, and deep water). Results showed that fish assemblage structure exhibited seasonal changes between summer and autumn and strong spatiotemporal variations in the importance of offshore factors affecting shallow-water fish communities. In summer, abundance from the Gobiidae family responded to wave exposure, whereas the Gadidae family and juvenile migrant habitat preference guild responded to latitudinal position and proximity to deep water. In autumn, deep water was related to abundance of Gadidae and juvenile migrants, whereas latitudinal position influenced Gasterosteidae. These findings underscore the importance of understanding the influence of offshore factors on facets of coastal fish assemblages to address large-scale geographic connectivity along nearshore–offshore gradients.

Visa alla publikationer av Thomas Staveley vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 20 januari 2019

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