School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Shannon White

Shannon White

  • Qualifications: MSc Marine Environmental Protection, BSc Biology
  • Role Title: PhD Researcher
  • Address: Institute of Marine Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, Ferry Road, Eastney, Portsmouth PO4 9LY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5797
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am currently conducting my PhD research at the Institute of Marine Sciences, where I also serve as postgraduate representative and as Marine Biological Association Student Ambassador for the University of Portsmouth.

My interest in the study of the marine environment came from my summers spent on the shore in Nova Scotia, Canada. I pursued a BSc in biology with a minor in environmental studies at the State University of  New York at Geneseo where, from a general interest in ecology and conservation classes, my focus shifted to the marine environmental applications of the concepts I had learned in the classroom. I pursued my MSc in Marine Environmental Protection at Bangor University in 2010. Upon returning to the US in 2011, I worked as an intern at the Marine Environmental Research Institute at Blue Hill, Maine, followed by a 6 month term of service as an Environmental Educator of the Maine Conservation Corps at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), Salisbury Cove, Maine. I was then hired on at MDIBL in June 2013 as Marine Specialist where I conducted surveys of the macrofaunal communities of eelgrass restoration areas and used an ROV to survey the subtidal benthic habitats in Frenchman Bay.


General interests

  • Benthic ecology
  • Marine conservation 

PhD research

Using the Solent European Marine Sites in the south of England as a case study, the aim of my PhD research is to assess the diversity of intertidal mudflat macroinvertebrates in the context of past, present, and future drivers of change. Intertidal mudflats are recognized by international conservation initiatives as habitats of conservation importance, with mudflat communities playing important roles in coastal processes and ecological functioning.  The specific objectives of my project are to:

  • Conduct temporal and spatial assessments of taxonomic and functional diversity
  • Investigate past and present drivers of change
  • Explore future drivers of change using predicted climate change scenarios in mesocosm experiments
  • Place findings in the context of mudflat conservation and Marine Protected Area management


Dr Gordon Watson (Principal Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences)

Dr Roger Herbert (Senior Lecturer, Coastal & Marine Biology, Bournemouth University)