Dr Laurence De Clippele

passphoto 45x35Position: Post-doctoral Researcher

Contact: laurence.de.clippele@ed.ac.uk

Weblinks for Researchgate and Linkedin profiles

Dr Laurence De Clippele is a marine ecologist who focusses on studying cold-water coral reefs with a general interest in marine biodiversity, biogeography, ecosystem functioning, trophic ecology and pollution. Currently, she works as part of the European Horizon 2020 ATLAS project, a trans-Atlantic research project that strives to improve our understanding of complex deep-sea ecosystems and their associated species in the North Atlantic Ocean. Her main fields of research are:

  • Marine habitat and predictive mapping: mapping the distribution and ecosystem function of cold-water corals reefs and their associated fauna by integrating data from high definition videos from underwater vehicles (ROV), acoustic surveys (bathymetry and backscatter), the ocean currents and on respiration rates.
  • Cold-water coral mound morphology: the BGS-seabed mapping toolbox is applied on bathymetry data and used to characterise the geomorphology of coral mounds across the Atlantic.
  • Ecology of cold-water coral reef fauna: biodiversity and behavioural patterns of reef fauna based on in-situ HD videos and imagery


In her current role, Laurence combines academic research with developing and delivering public engagement activities and dissemination materials to connect and share our science with a wider audience. Her aim is to build a stronger relationship and a two-way dialogue between science and society. Examples are science-artist collaborations, Future Of Our Seas, Midlothian Science Festival, Edinburgh Science festival, several video editing and design projects.

Prior to this, she has filled- in as ATLAS project manager and supported a large project in the Emirates as a project assistant and team leader at the International Edinburgh Science Festival. Laurence did her PhD (Ecological and environmental controls on the fine-scale distribution of cold-water corals in the North-East Atlantic) at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh). Funded by the Leonardo Da Vinci Scholarship she also worked for 6 months at the Institute of Marine Research on the fauna associated with cold-water gorgonians and seapens. Her masters is in Marine and Lacustrine Sciences and Management with a major in Ecology and her bachelors in Biology, during which she enjoyed a summer project at the Tjärnö  Marine biological laboratory (recovery of cold-water coral reefs) and at the Roscoff marine station (intertidal biodiversity).


De Clippele LH, Huvenne VAI, Orejas C, Lundälv T, Fox A, Hennige S, Roberts JM (2018) The effects of the local hydrodynamics on the spatial extent and morphology of cold-water coral habitats at the Tisler reef, Coral reefs 1: 253-266

De Clippele LH, Gafeira J, Robert K, Hennige S, Lavaleye MS, Duineveld GCA, Huvenne VAI and Roberts JM (2017) Using novel acoustic and visual mapping tools to predict the small-scale spatial distribution of live biogenic reef framework in cold-water coral habitats. Coral reefs 1: 255-268

Henry L-A, Stehmann M, De Clippele LH, Roberts JM (2016) Seamount egg-laying grounds of the deep-water skate Bathyraja richardsoni: Deep-water Bathyraja richardsoni egg-laying grounds. Journal of Fish Biology 89(2)

Vansteenbrugge L, Hostens K, Vanhove B, De Backer A, De Clippele L, De Troch M (2016) Erratum to trophic ecology of Mnemiopsis in the southern North Sea a biomarker application. Marine Biology 163:184

De Clippele LH, Buhl-Mortensen P and Buhl-Mortensen L (2015) Fauna associated with gorgonians and sea pens. Continental Shelf Research 105: 67-78

Hummel et al. (2015) A comparison of the degree of implementation of marine biodiversity indicators by European countries about the marine strategy framework directive (MFSD). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 95(8): 1519-1531

De Clippele LH (2014) Mapping the treasures of the deep sea. The Marine Biologist 2: 20-21

De Clippele LH (2012) Master thesis in the Marine biology department at the University of Ghent and ILVO (Belgium): Assessing the trophic position of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Southern North Sea, using biochemical tracer techniques (stable isotopes and fatty acids).

De Clippele LH (2010) Bachelor thesis in the Protistology and Aquatic Ecology department at the University of Ghent: The potential application of herbivore amoeba for the biological control of harmful algae (cyanobacteria – Microcystis)