Dr. Alfred Burian
University of Derby Postdoctoral Fellow
Aquatic Research Facility Environmental, Sustainability Research Centre,
University of Derby
I am aquatic ecologist specialised in tropical ecosystems. I have worked with a wide range of different taxa and habitats including corals, zooplankton blooms or flamingos in African soda-lakes. A characteristic of my work is the combined application of field sampling and modelling approaches to assess temporal community dynamics and biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships.
I am highly fascinated by the complexity of the coral holobiont and interactions between genetic and epigenetic variation in corals, symbiotic algae and the composition of the heterotrophic microbiome. I frequently use a tool referred to as network analysis to assess interactions between corals and their microbiome. My focus is to gain new insights by investigating the consistency of community interactions in replicated network analyses and the emergence of taxa-cluster in networks with similar functional properties or evolutionary history.
The remote and largely pristine environment at Palau provides us with an excellent opportunity to investigate the natural variability of coral holobionts and potential adaptations to changing environments. I support the team with my statistical expertise and by complimenting analyses of population dynamics with mathematical modelling approaches.