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Dr Erica Hendy

Dr Erica Hendy

Dr Erica Hendy
B.Sc.(Waik.), D.Sc.(Otago), Ph.D.(A.N.U.)

Senior Lecturer in Biogeochemical Cycles

Area of research

The past and future of coral reefs; Reconstructing tropical climate and environmental variability

Office L123
Wills Memorial Building,
Queens Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5003


Coral reefs are geological structures made by living organisms from carbonate. I research the past and future of these fascinating ecosystems, and their use in documenting tropical climate variability. The study of coral reefs intersects the disciplines of biology, geology and geochemistry, and for this reason I have a joint academic position at the University of Bristol shared between the two Schools of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences.

My research group undertakes studies that span from micron-scale geochemical probing of skeletons to global-scale models of reef distribution. We use the skeletons of massive coral colonies to look at past climates, environmental conditions and biological responses. For example, using boron isotopes to monitor how coral control calcification when stressed by reduced seawater pH or changes in water flow regimes. We also apply statistical and mechanistic modelling approaches, driven by biogeochemical and climate model output, to project forward, or reconstruct past coral reef response to global climate change and ocean acidification.


• RCUK Academic Fellowship in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (jointly held between Schools of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences), University of Bristol, UK.

• Adjunct Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York.

• NERC Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK

• PI NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia U., NY.

• Comer Abrupt Climate Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, Biology & PaleoEnvironment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia U., NY.

• PhD. Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University (ANU), Australia. 
Title:  “Decadal-to-Centennial Climate Variability from Great Barrier Reef Coral”.

• Postgraduate Diploma of Science (Distinction) in Marine Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

• B.Sc. in Water Sciences (an interdisciplinary degree in chemistry, earth science, hydrology, ecology, and statistics) School of Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


I teach:

• the unit "Environmental Systems and Cycles" weeks 1-6 in the first year Environmental Geoscience 40 credit unit EASC10002. I am also the unit co-ordinator for EASC10002.

• Analytical Geochemistry EASC20038


I co-teach and supervise:

• the Avon River field-course (research design and field analysis skills) EASC30040

• 3rd year Environmental Geoscience Research Projects EASC30040



  • coral reefs
  • climate change
  • ocean acidification
  • tropical palaeoclimatology
  • isotope geochemistry
  • scleractinian coral
  • biomineralization

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Hendy currently teaches 6 courses:

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