John Russell Turner B.Sc. (Bristol), D.Phil. (Oxon)

CAMS Role: Academic Lead

Room: 403 Westbury Mount

Telephone: 01248 38 2881



I graduated in Joint Honours Botany and Zoology at the University of Bristol in 1981, and then progressed to doctorate research at the University of Oxford (St John's College), investigating the 'Ecology of Temperate Symbiotic Anthozoa'. In 1985 I moved to a NERC funded postdoctoral position at Bangor University, School of Animal Biology, where I investigated the 'Behavioural Ecology of Shoaling Fish' and specifically the 'Twilight Hypothesis'. In 1987, I transferred to the School of Ocean Sciences to take up a 5 year Research Demonstratorship in Marine Biology. I was Course Director of the MSc in Marine Environmental Protection for 22 years between 1989 and 2011. I developed research interests in mapping coral reef biotopes, Environmental Impact Assessment, Marine Protected Areas and Coastal Zone Management. I became a permanent member of staff in 1990, Lecturer in 1993 and appointed to Senior Lecturer in 2000. I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship at the Graduation ceremony in 2007, and won a Bangor University Research Impact Award 2015 and received a personal Chair in 2016.

Research, Teaching and Wider Interest

John Turner is Professor in Marine Biology with expertise in temperate and tropical marine environments and the interaction between human impacts and the marine environment. He has over 30 years of experience in a wide range of projects involving coastal habitat survey, Marine Protected Areas (MPA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and Integrated Coastal Zone (ICZM) in a wide range of countries and contexts. He has undertaken large scale biological surveys for UNDP-GEF Projects on Sustainable use of Biodiversity of Socotra Archipelago, and Coastal Ecosystems of the Andaman Islands, and EIAs for major industrial developments (eg. LNG terminal, Oman; effluents, Mauritius). His research advances techniques for integrating spatial biodiversity data in marine systems for the purpose of assessment of state, for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and for long-term monitoring and investigating change. John is a field biologist, experienced in undertaking manipulative experiments, survey and monitoring on coasts and underwater, and is experienced in SCUBA diving and the management of scientific diving operations.

Current interests focus on Marine Protected Areas in the UK Overseas Territories (Cayman Islands, British Indian Ocean Territory-Chagos Archipelago) and Coastal Zone Management and Sustainable Development (eg in east Africa). Collaborations have been established with organisations overseas, such as the Department of Environment Cayman, The Nature Conservancy USA, Institute of Marine Science/ University of Dar es Salaam, Seychelles Island Foundation, Zoological Society of London and University of Warwick. John is an Executive member of the Chagos Conservation Trust, a member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Peer Review College, and member of the steering group of NERC's National Facility for Scientific Diving.

John has grant income of £4.441m total; 3.410m in last 5 years.

Current projects include:

DEFRA Darwin Plus: Sustainable Management of Threatened Keystone Predators (2015 -2017) to Enhance Reef Resilience. Marine Conservation International (Gore & Ormond), with Department of Environment Cayman Islands (Austin & McCoy), Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (Harvey) and Bangor University (Turner). £300, 000 TO MCI.
Satellite drifter tagging – Mixed Fish spawning aggregations on coral reefs in Grand Cayman in collaboration with Cayman Islands Government Department of Environment: Guy Harvey Foundation. $25,000 to CIG DoE.
Aldabra atoll World Heritage Site, Seychelles, Indian Ocean coral reef benthic habitat monitoring. Collaborator (+ Rebecca Klaus) on GEF grant ($69,545) to Seychelles Island Foundation Global Environmental Facility Project ID 3925: Strengthening Seychelles’ protected area system through NGO management modalities.

Recent projects include:

Darwin Initiative Assuring Engagement in Cayman's Enhanced Marine Protected Area System 2013-2014 DEFRA £190,000; Darwin Initiative to strengthen Worlds largest MPA, Chagos Archipelago 2012-2015 DEFRA £287,778; Darwin Initiative to enhance an established marine protected area system, Cayman Islands 2010-2013 DEFRA £273,914; Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture for the Atlantic Region of Europe 2007-2013, EU RDF (total €2.67m: Species and Ecosystem Conservation in relation to coastal aquaculture (activity lead) €801,765); Coastal Zone Management (activity co-lead) 2010-2015 EU RDF part of £9m; Marine Biology and Sustainable Development for East Africa, UNESCO / DfID-DelPHE 2009-14: £53k.

Outputs include 105 publications and 97 conference presentations, and he has supervised 20 PhD students, 134 MSc theses, been external examiner for 12 PhD/MPhil, and has been degree award external examiner at 5 other universities.

John was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in recognition of outstanding contribution to teaching and pastoral care and is a member of the Academy of Teaching Fellows. He teaches at all levels - Year 1: Tutorial, Marine Biology Practical Course 1 (Taxonomy), Year 2: Marine Ecology (Temperate and tropical reefs), Marine Biology Practical Course 2 (Echinoderms); Year 3: Marine Conservation and Exploitation, Extreme Marine Environments (Tropical Marine Biology / Coral Reefs), Research Dissertation; Year 4: Literature Review, Research Projects; MSc: Coastal Habitat Ecology and Survey, Environmental Impact Assessment, Marine Conservation and Coastal Development, and MSc Research Project. Administrative roles include: Director of Postgraduate Taught courses; Director of Postgraduate Research; School Management committee, Academic committee, Research committee, Publicity and Recruitment, University Senate, and Course Director of the MSc in Marine Environmental Protection for 22 years. John leads Coastal Zone Management in the Centre for Applied Marine Science.

Research Group

Postgraduate Research Assistants/Research Assistants:

Charli Mortimer: Darwin Initiative Project Support Officer, Cayman Islands Darwin initiative to enhance an established marine protected area system, Cayman Islands 2014 DEFRA).

Alex Prebble: Project Support Assistant, Cayman Islands Darwin initiative to enhance an established marine protected area system, Cayman Islands 2013 DEFRA.

Laura Richardson: Darwin Initiative Project Support Officer, Cayman Islands Darwin initiative to enhance an established marine protected area system, Cayman Islands 2010-2013 DEFRA:

Dr Delphine Lallas: PDRA SEAFARE Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Aquaculture for the Atlantic Region of Europe Atlantic Area Programme 2007-2013 EU RDF Species and Ecosystem Conservation in relation to coastal aquaculture

Ronan Roach: Research and Business Development Officer SEACAMS: Coastal Zone Management

Hilmar Hinz: Research and Business Development Officers SEACAMS: Coastal Zone Management

Dr Michael O'Leary: Carbonate Sediments as Recorders of Ecological and Environmental Information, Rodrigues (with Dr C Perry, Manchester Metropolitan; Leverhulme Trust). 2007-2009

Dr Rebecca Klaus: Sustainable Use and Conservation of the Socotra Archipelago. UNDP/GEF 1997-2000

Juliet Larcombe: Royal Geographical Society Royal Society Marine Programme 1995-96

Dr Simon Davy: Algal/invertebrate symbiosis 1995

Current PhD Students:

Philip Haupt (2014-2017) Characteristics and distribution patterns of benthic biotopes and fish assemblages at Aldabra atoll, Seychelles. Co supervision with: Dr Anthony Bernard (Rhodes University & Dr Albrecht Götz (SAEON Elwandle). Hosting organisation: Rhodes. Henderson Bursary Scholar.

Alejandra Vergara Pena (2014- ) The effect of tourism boat activity on Bottlenose dolphin behaviour Special Areas of Conservation, Wales. (With Line Cordes).

Jenan Badran (Kuwait) (2013 -) Coastal marine resources assessment Kuwait (with Lewis LeVay).

Jack Egerton (Echology Ltd) (2013- ) Developing methodologies in the use of hydro-acoustics for marine ecological survey (with Lewis LeVay).

James Monnington (Xodus Ltd) (2012- ) Interactions between offshore wind farms, commercial fisheries and benthic communities, and their implications for co-location with Marine Conservation Zones (with Jan Hiddink).

Tengku Kamil, Fara (Malaysian Government Scholarship) (2009 -) Coral bleaching mechanisms.

McCoy, Croy (Cayman Islands) (Government Scholarship) (2008- Part time & Overseas). Coral reef resilience and marine protected areas in the Cayman Islands.

Past PhD Students:

Mali Mali, Siola'a (Tonga Government Scholarship) (2009-) Community Marine Protected Area (with Prof. M. J .Kaiser)

Dr Hanna Nuuttila (Finland) 2012. 125th Anniversary University Studentship (2009-) Acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises in Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, Wales (with Dr Peter Evans, Sea Watch Foundation). External: Prof Peter Tyack, University of St. Andrews. Now Sea Mammal Research Officer, SEACAMS, University of Swansea

Dr Simon Oliver (Canada) 2012. (NERC Studentship)The behaviour of pelagic thresher sharks in response to cleaner fishes and anthropogenic pressures on Monad Shoal, the Philippines. External Prof Rupert Ormond, Heriot Watt University. Now Cancer Research Laboratory Manager, University of Liverpool, and Director, Thresher Shark Programme

Dr Alex Tilley (UK) 2011. (Self/Wildlife Conservation Society) The behaviour and ecology of southern stingrays in The Caribbean (Glovers atoll, Belize). External Prof . Rory Wilson, Swansea University. Now Field Programme Coordinator, Turks and Caicos Marine Laboratory

Bethan Thompson (UK) 2005. NERC Studentship. Can bleaching induced mortality be predicted by understanding the life pattern of a symbiotic organism? Resigned to move to Australia and take up teaching

Dr Shakeer Alhazeem (Kuwait) 2005. Assessing the Changes on Kuwait coral reefs with particular emphasis on urchin grazing. Kuwait Government. 2005. External Prof Andrew Price, University of Warwick. Now Research Scientist, Coral Reefs, Kuwait Research Institute, Kuwait

Dr Leonie Salmon (UK) 2004. NERC Studentship. The reproductive and trophic dynamics of symbiotic Anthozoa on temperate shores. External Prof. John Bythell, University of Newcastle/University of West Indie (Fijji). Now working for Natural England

Dr Emily Hardman (UK) 2004. University of Wales Studentship. The impact of Anthropogenic and Natural Stresses on the Coral Reefs of Rodrigues, Western Indian Ocean. External Prof Chris Perry, Manchester Metropolitan/Exeter University. Now working for English Nature

Dr, Rebecca Klaus (UK) 2004. Coral bleaching indices in theory and in practice: A comparative Assessment of the 1997/1988 Indian Ocean Coral Bleaching Event. University of Warwick with field support from University Wales Bangor. International Marine consultant, Oxford

Dr Louise Squire (UK) 2000. Natural variations in temperate symbiotic Anthozoa. University of Wales Studentship. External Dr Elaine Robson, University of Reading. Now Marine Consultant, Pembrokeshire

Jeff Kim Seng Tang (Singapore) 1999. Classification of marine habitats using a multi-media database. British Council. External Dr Bob Foster Smith, University of Newcastle. Now Project manager for PDPA (personal data Protection Act) Framework implementation, Automobile Association, Singapore

Assoc. Prof. Daby, Deolall (Mauritius) 1999. Structure and Function of Mauritian Lagoons. TEC Mauritius. External Prof Alistair Edwards, University of Newcastle. Now Associate Professor, University of Mauritius

Prof. Davy, Simon (UK) 1994. SERC Studentship. The Specificity of Temperate Anthozoan Dinoflagellate Symbiosis. External Prof Sir David Smith FRS. Now Associate Professor, University of Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand

Potential postgraduate research students should write to Dr Turner with a covering letter explaining their experience and motivation, and a CV. Supervision will be considered in the following areas: Research Discipline: Marine Science: Marine Biology and Ecology Research Field: Coastal Ecology and Management, especially Tropical Marine Ecosystems

Research Themes:

  1. Coral reef biology, ecology and conservation, including associated shallow tropical marine ecosystems and algal symbiosis, resilience to climate change
  2. Coastal zone management, including marine protected areas and environmental impact assessment
  3. Elasmobranch and small cetacean ecology and conservation

Research Specialisms:
Ecology and physiology of shallow tropical marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves; algal invertebrate symbiosis, coral bleaching and coral reef resilience; coastal survey, species, habitat, community and biotope survey; Scientific diving and underwater techniques; Marine Protected Areas and strict nature reserves, Environmental Impact Assessment, Monitoring and surveillance, Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

Research interests are further described in the overlapping themes linked from the box at the top of this page.

MSc Course in Marine Environmental Protection

Coastal Zone Management Division, CAMS