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Personal profile

Research interests

Our research seeks to understand the fundamental relationships between organisms and their environment, from the sub-organism to community scale. This is particularly pertinent given the unprecedented rate of global environmental change currently underway. We employ a range of field and laboratory techniques to establish ecological-biogeochemical relationships and identify drivers of change, within the context of historic and present-day natural variability and future environmental conditions.

To this end, we target the dynamic and complex ecosystems found in the coastal zone such as coral reefs, coralline algal beds and kelp forests, providing a unique insight into ecosystem structure and function. These ecosystems are also economically valuable (e.g. supporting tourism and fishing) and we strengthen the impact of our research through multidisciplinary collaborations with other scientists, stakeholders, practitioners and managers, as well as engagement with policy makers and the general public. For more information, please visit my website.

Research Gate

Google Scholar


Key Research Words/Phrases

photophysiology, biogeochemistry, ecosystem function, multiple stressors, global change biology, ecophysiology

Research Group Contact Details


  • Research Fellow, Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology, 2016-
  • Associate Editor, Nature Microbiology, 2015-16
  • MASTS Research Fellow, University of St Andrews, 2013-15
  • Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Glasgow, 2013
  • PhD Marine Biogeochemistry, University of Glasgow, 2009-13
  • MSc Applied Marine Science (Distinction), University of Plymouth, 2007-08
  • BSc (Hons) Ocean Science (First Class), University of Plymouth, 2004-07

External positions

University of St Andrews

1 Oct 2015 → …

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Heidi Burdett is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output

Carbon burial over the last four millennia is regulated by both climatic and land use change

Mao, J., Burdett, H. L., McGill, R. A. R., Newton, J., Gulliver, P. & Kamenos, N. A., Apr 2020, In : Global Change Biology. 26, 4, p. 2496-2504 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Low-cost, open-access quantitative phase imaging of algal cells using the transport of intensity equation

    Grant, S. D., Richford, K., Burdett, H. L., McKee, D. & Patton, B. R., 29 Jan 2020, In : Royal Society Open Science. 7, 1, 191921.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Depth alone is an inappropriate proxy for physiological change in the mesophotic coral Agaricia lamarcki

    Laverick, J. H., Green, T. K., Burdett, H. L., Newton, J. & Rogers, A. D., 24 Jun 2019, In : Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Downloads (Pure)

    Human microbiota: insights from large population studies

    Burdett, H. L., 28 Mar 2019, In : Nature.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    Open Access

    Key Questions for Research and Conservation of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems and Temperate Mesophotic Ecosystems

    Turner, J. A., Andradi-Brown, D. A., Gori, A., Bongaerts, P., Burdett, H. L., Ferrier-Pagès, C., Voolstra, C. R., Weinstein, D. K., Bridge, T. C. L., Costantini, F., Gress, E., Laverick, J., Loya, Y., Goodbody-Gringley, G., Rossi, S., Taylor, M. L., Viladrich, N., Voss, J. D., Williams, J., Woodall, L. C. & 1 others, Eyal, G., 2019, Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems. Loya, Y., Puglise, K. A. & Bridge, T. C. L. (eds.). Springer, p. 989-1003 15 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Prizes

    Charles Lyell Award for Environmental Sciences

    Burdett, Heidi (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Peter Jones Memorial Award

    Burdett, Heidi (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Principal's Public Engagement Impact Prize

    Burdett, Heidi (Recipient), Dec 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Scottish Crucible

    Burdett, Heidi (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Young Academy of Scotland

    Burdett, Heidi (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Election to learned society


    • 2 Membership of committee
    • 2 Membership of peer review panel
    • 1 Membership of board

    British Ecological Society (External organisation)

    Heidi Burdett (Member)

    2018 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (External organisation)

    Heidi Burdett (Chair)


    Activity: MembershipMembership of peer review panel

    Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)

    Heidi Burdett (Member)

    2017 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    British Ecological Society (External organisation)

    Heidi Burdett (Chair)


    Activity: MembershipMembership of peer review panel

    Natural Environment Research Council (External organisation)

    Heidi Burdett (Chair)


    Activity: MembershipMembership of board