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Dr Sebastian Hennige


NERC Independent Research Fellow

School of Life Sciences

Phone: +44 (0)131 451 8267
  • Room 3.06
    William Perkin Building
  • School of Life Sciences
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Edinburgh
  • EH14 4AS
  • United Kingdom

Research profile


Examining the synergistic effects of ocean acidification and warming upon biomineralisation in cold-water corals (Lophelia pertusa) and coralline algae (maerl). This will assess whether any changes in the growth, physiology and structural integrity of these species due to future high CO2 conditions will impede the ecosystem engineering function that cold-water corals and maerl perform.

Other research interests:

  • Harmful algal eco-physiology under present and future conditions
  • Mechanisms underlying bleaching in tropical coral species
  • The use of coral tissue cultures as a tool to assess coral physiology under controlled conditions.
Selected publications

Peer reviewed

Hennige S.J., Smith D.J., Walsh S.J., McGinley M.P., Warner M.E., Suggett D.J. (2010) Acclimation and adaptation of scleractinian coral communities along environmental gradients within an Indonesian reef system. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 391: 143-152

Ragni M., Airs R., Hennige S.J., Suggett D.J., Warner M.E., Geider R. (2010) PSII changes in Symbiodinium under high light stress: photoinhibition, photoprotection and photorepair. Marine Ecology Progress Series 406: 56-70

Hennige S.J., Suggett D.J., Hepburn L., Pugsley A., Smith D.J. (2010) Coral reefs of the Wakatobi: processes of reef growth and loss. In; Marine Research and Conservation in the Coral Triangle: the Wakatobi Marine National Park (Chapter 3) (ISBN: 978-1-61668-473-0)

Haapkylä J., Seymour A.S., Barneah O., Brickner I., Hennige S.J., Smith D.J. (2009) Association of Waminoa sp. (Acoela) with corals in the Wakatobi Marine Park, South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Marine Biology 156: 1021-1027

Hennige S.J., Suggett D.J., Warner M.E., McDougall K.E., Smith D.J. (2009) Photoacclimation of Symbiodinium revisited: bio-physical and bio-optical signatures. Coral Reefs 28: 179-195

Hennige S.J., Suggett D.J., Warner M.E., McDougall K.E., Smith D.J. (2008) Unravelling coral photoacclimation: Symbiodinium strategy and host modification. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Hennige S.J., Smith D.J., Perkins R., Consalvey M., Paterson D.M., Suggett D.J. (2008) Photoacclimation, growth and distribution of massive coral species in clear and turbid waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series 369: 77-88

Suggett D.J., Warner M.E., Smith D.J., Davey P., Hennige S.J., Baker N.R. (2008) Photosynthesis and accumulation of hydrogen peroxide by Symbiodinium (Pyrrhopyta) phylotypes with different thermal tolerances. Journal of Phycology 44: 948-956.

Non-peer reviewed

Hennige S.J. (2010) Photoacclimation and adaptation of hermatypic coral species across environmental gradients. ISBN: 978-3-639-24517-2

Hennige S.J. Harvesting Light (2008) Planet Earth Winter: 18-19.

  • 2011: Joined Heriot-Watt as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research on the effects of ocean acidification upon coldwater corals with Dr. Murray Roberts
  • 2009-2011: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Delaware on coral bleaching mechanisms and harmful algal eco-physiology under present and future conditions.
  • 2009: PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Essex on acclimation and adaptation of hermatypic corals across environmental gradients
  • 2005: BSc in Marine and Environmental Biology from the University of St. Andrews
Further information

Professional membership

  • Challenger Society
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
  • International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae (ISSHA)
  • Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)