Dr Laurence De Clippele

passphoto 45x35Position:  Senior Post-doctoral Researcher

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

Dr Laurence De Clippele is a marine ecologist who studies benthic habitats such as cold-water coral reefs,  sponge grounds and seagrass meadows. She has a general interest in marine biodiversity, biogeography, ecosystem functioning, trophic ecology and pollution. Currently, she works as part of the European Horizon 2020 iAtlantic project, a multidisciplinary research programme seeking to assess the health of deep-sea and open-ocean ecosystems across the full span of the Atlantic Ocean. She is also a lecturer for the Marine Systems and Policies MSc programme.

Her research focuses on the following topics:

  • Ecology: studying patterns in biodiversity and animal behaviours using video and image data
  • Ecoacoustics: using machine learning techniques and passive acoustic monitoring data to study spatiotemporal changes in  marine biodiversity
  • Mapping: using predictive modelling techniques to map species distribution and biomass
  • Ecosystem functions: quantifying the total nutrient cycling capacity of cold-water coral reefs
  • Geomorphology: describing the geomorphology of coral mounds across the Atlantic.


Laurence enjoys combining 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, and several video editing and design projects.

Prior to this, she was conducting research as part of the H2020 ATLAS project and has also worked for the 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 at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen (Norway) on the fauna associated with cold-water gorgonians and seapens. She obtained an MSc in Marine and Lacustrine Sciences and Management and a BSc in Biology.


For all my publications, please visit my  Google Scholar profile.


H. Poppy Clark (2021-): The role of sponge competition in cold-water coral reefs – ROV video analyses and secondary metabolite profiling in the search for compounds of medical and ecological relevance.