School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Dr Trevor Willis

Dr Trevor Willis

  • Qualifications: BSc, MSc (Wellington), PhD (Auckland)
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer/Course Leader MSc Applied Aquatic Biology
  • Address: Institute of Marine Sciences University of Portsmouth, Langstone Harbour, Ferry Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, P04 9LY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5806
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am a marine ecologist and completed BSc and MSc at Victoria University of Wellington, and PhD at the University of Auckland’s Leigh Marine Laboratory. I spent two years on a postdoc in the Statistics Department at Auckland, followed by four years as a research fellow at the University of Bologna in Italy. I then moved back to New Zealand at the beginning of 2007 to work for NIWA as a senior scientist. I joined the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in April 2012.

My past research has focused on the effects of marine reserves (or MPAs), but I have also been involved in studies of fish movement, fish assemblage relationships with habitat, small-scale fisheries assessments, and survey methodologies for fishes. I have also been drawn into studies on soft-sediment ecosystems, distribution of marine mammals, and ecological statistics.

My current research is concentrated on the functional role of predators in coastal marine systems and their impacts on the trophic structure of reef assemblages, and patterns in marine species diversity and functional diversity at varying scales. I am based at the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS).

I am an Associate Editor for Environmental Conservation, and Frontiers in Marine Science in the Marine Conservation and Sustainability section.

Teaching Responsibilities

Unit coordinator for Applied Marine Biology, MSc Aquatic Biology project unit, and MSc Subtidal Marine Ecology.

Also teaching on Biodiversity and Evolution, Experimental Biology, Community Ecology, Marine Organisms and Ecosystems, and Coastal Ecosystems.


  • Recovery of exploited species and functional role of marine protected areas
  • Trophic structure of reef assemblages
  • Spatial variation in marine biodiversity
  • Ecology of cryptic fishes
  • Structure of reef fish assemblages

For further detail on current projects, please see my lab page.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile