Poppy Clark


I am a natural product chemist and marine ecologist, specialising in the chemical ecology of deep-sea sponges. My research focuses on the role of sponge competition on cold-water coral reefs. Using machine learning and deep-sea video data, I am analysing sponge distributions and exploring long-term patterns in sponge behaviour. I am also investigating the functional role of sponge secondary metabolites, and how they relate to sponge behaviour, through metabolome and microbiome analyses. More specifically, I am using these methods to explore interactions between the deep-sea sponge Mycale lingua and cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. Additionally, I am searching for compounds with pharmaceutical potential within sponge secondary metabolite profiles. I am completing the chemical aspects of my research with the Marine Biodiscovery Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed an MSci in Natural Sciences at Durham University. My Master’s research project investigated the stability of the shapeshifting barbaralyl cation, both through synthesis and density functional theory calculations.

Contact Details:

  • Twitter: @H_Poppy_Clark


Barnhill K.A., Scott J., Clark H.P., Smith A.J. (2022). Human-bottlenose dolphin interactions within wildlife tourism, ocean recreation and fisheries. Coastal Studies and Society0(0), 1-16.