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Chancey MacDonald


Dr. Chancey MacDonald is a coral reef ecologist investigates how depth affects the structure and ecology of global reef fish assemblages, as well as global stressors on mesophotic coral ecosystems. 


Chancey completed his PhD at James Cook University in Australia, where he investigated how depth influences a broad range of ecological relationships among coral-associated reef fishes. He has coupled extensive field observations with statistics and laboratory analyses to better understand depth relationships among species' distributions, habitat associations, space use and competition of reef fish, as well as changes in their diets, trophic pathways, nutrition, and condition. 


Through his research, Chancey has participated in numerous extended field investigations, including many months in Papua New Guinea, Tonga, the Caribbean, and the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. 

He was recently a post-doctoral researcher at the California Academy of Sciences where he trained in closed-circuit re-breather diving with field sites in the Maldives and Roatan, Honduras. Chancey also worked as a technical officer in the management of Crown of Thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.


As you dive down from sunlit surface waters to the darker, cooler, depths of mesophotic coral reefs, many things change. Dr. Chancey MacDonald studies multiple facets of reef fish ecology to better understand which fish live at mesophotic depths and how their lives change along steep depth gradients on coral reefs. To do this, his work explores depth-related changes in the behaviors and health of individual fish, the availability of their food and habitats, the impacts of environmental disturbance, and what these mean for global-scale biodiversity patterns.


Join Chancey as he highlights some of the adventures he has had, techniques he has used, and the things he has found out about the lives of fish on deep coral reefs.

Presentation: Monday, October 3rd

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