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Dr Erica Hendy

Dr Erica Hendy

Dr Erica Hendy
BSc(Waik), DSc(Otago), PhD(ANU)

Lecturer in Biogeochemcial Cycles

Area of research

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

Office IC2.06
Wills Memorial Building,
Queen's 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.


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


  • boron isotopes
  • trace element ratios
  • amino acid racemization
  • species distribution models

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Andy Ridgwell (Geographical Sciences UoB)
  • Kirsty Penkman (Chemistry U. York)
  • Rachel Collin (STRI)
  • Matthew Collins (York U.)
  • John Craven and Richard Hinton (NERC Ion Probe Facility U. Edinburgh)
  • Sean Davies (Chem. UoB)
  • Maoz Fine and Amatzia Genin (Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences Eilat Israel)
  • Gavin Foster (NOC Southampton)
  • Michael Gagan (ANU)
  • Ken Johnson (NHM)
  • Tali Mass (Rutgers)
  • Anders Meibom (Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle Paris)
  • Troy Rasbury (SUNY Stony Brook)
  • Aldo Shemesh (The Weizmann Institute of Science Israel)
  • Dani Schmidt (Earth Sciences UoB)
  • Sandy Tudhope (U. Edinburgh)
  • Peter Wynn (U. Lancaster)


Dr Hendy currently teaches 5 courses:

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