Kimberley Stokes

PhD student Kimberley Stokes.

Climate change and the affect on marine vertebrates of the Cornish coast

University of Exeter

This project provides an insight into how marine vertebrate biology may be affected by climate change and seeks to highlight potential strategies.

Warming seas will result in changes in marine vertebrate distributions. Cornwall has, in the past, been at the edge of the range for many warm water species, including marine mammals and turtles. With the result of climate change this is likely to alter in the future.

University of Exeter PhD student Kimberley Stokes is modelling the likely distribution of a group of species that are important for coastal tourism.

Kimberley said: “I hope to be able to determine the potential for adaption of marine vertebrates to climate change, and in turn, highlight possible mitigation strategies.”

The research aims to inform the ecotourism, fisheries and conservation sectors in Cornwall as to possible future impacts brought about by species responses to climate change, and may influence marine spatial planning and the fisheries policy in the South West.