Personal profile

Research interests

Laura Wicks is a Research Associate, whose interests centre on understanding the impact of environmental variability on the functional ecology and physiology of marine ecosystems, specifically those found in non-optimal environments. Current research focuses on the ecophysiology of cold-water corals, specifically providing estimates of carbon budgets under optimal and future climate change scenarios, which will provide vital baseline data in the on-going efforts to model carbon flux through cold-water coral habitats.

Laura is also a Public Engagement Coordinator for the University, developing and supporting public engagement opportunities within HWU. 


After graduating from the University of Southampton in 2004 with a BSc. Honours degree in Oceanography and Marine Biology, Dr Laura Wicks undertook an MSc. in Marine Environmental Protection at the University of Wales, Bangor. In 2009, she completed a Ph.D. at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, which focused on the ecophysiology and symbiont diversity of marginal scleractinian corals, and their ability to tolerate changing environmental conditions. The research involved extensive fieldwork at Lord Howe Island, Australia, and Palmyra Atoll, USA.

Laura joined Heriot-Watt as a Research Associate in the School of Life Sciences in 2010, and more recently took on the role of Public Engagement Coordinator.

Research Group Contact Details

T: 0131 4518267



  • Q Science (General)
  • Coral reefs
  • Marine biology
  • Ecology
  • ecophysiology
  • public engagement
  • outreach

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

cold water Earth & Environmental Sciences
coral Earth & Environmental Sciences
corals Agriculture & Biology
reef Earth & Environmental Sciences
Symbiodinium Agriculture & Biology
calcification Earth & Environmental Sciences
marine ecosystem Earth & Environmental Sciences
reefs Agriculture & Biology

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2017

  • 12 Article
  • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
life science

Physiological response of the cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus to thermal stress and ocean acidification

Gori, A., Ferrier-Pagès, C., Hennige, S. J., Murray, F., Rottier, C., Wicks, L. C. & Roberts, J. M. 2 Feb 2016 In : PeerJ. 2016, 2, 1606

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
thermal stress
Thermal stress

Hidden impacts of ocean acidification to live and dead coral framework

Hennige, S. J., Wicks, L. C., Kamenos, N. A., Perna, G., Findlay, H. S. & Roberts, J. M. Aug 2015 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 282, 1813, 20150990

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
mechanical damage

Effects of high temperature and CO2 on intracellular DMSP in the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa

Burdett, H., Carruthers, M., Donohue, P. J. C., Wicks, L. C., Hennige, S. J., Roberts, J. M. & Kamenos, N. A. Jul 2014 In : Marine Biology. 161, 7, p. 1499-1506 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fine-scale nutrient and carbonate system dynamics around cold-water coral reefs in the northeast Atlantic

Findlay, H. S., Hennige, S. J., Wicks, L. C., Navas, J. M., Woodward, E. M. S. & Roberts, J. M. 20 Jan 2014 In : Scientific Reports. 4, 10 p., 3671

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Principal's Public Engagement Award: Team category and Overall Winner

Laura C. Wicks (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Principal's Public Engagement Award for Early Career Researcher

Laura C. Wicks (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Public Engagement and Advocacy Award

Laura C. Wicks (Recipient), 2 Jun 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2010 2013

Dunbar Science Festival

Wicks, L. C. (Participant)
Mar 2013

Activity: Participation in Festival or Exhibition

Edinburgh International Science Festival 2013

Wicks, L. C. (Organiser)
Apr 2013

Activity: Participation in Festival or Exhibition

Limnology and Oceanography (Journal)

Wicks, L. C. (Peer reviewer)
2012 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review

Press / Media

Audiodiary and Podcast for Planet Earth website

Laura C. Wicks


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Article in Planet Earth: Cold Corals in Hot Water?

Laura C. Wicks


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research