Dr Melanie Chocholek

Dr Melanie Chocholek
Research Technician


I am a post doctoral research technician, my role is to support the members of SERG and specifically to assist with lab and field work for two of the current research projects. BLUE-coast which investigates the sensitivity in the response of coastal transitional zone ecosystems to changes in external forcings through the contribution coupled bio-physical sediment processes make in mediating morphological change. The second ‘Extended Evolutionary Synthesis’ project is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, it investigates niche construction, by macrofaunal ecosystem engineers, in contributing to the stabilisation of selective pressures within estuarine sediments and the resulting impact enhanced niche separation has on the genetic trajectories of clinically important ARB and natural estuarine bacteria.

I have an undergraduate degree geology and a second in environmental science with ecology, which led into an MRes in environmental biology (researching microbial ecosystem engineering within estuarine sediment) and onto an interdisciplinary PhD (bio-geomorphology) where I investigated response of an estuarine ecosystem to climate change.

Prior to my current role, I contributed to the survey of the voluntary MPA along the coast of north Northumberland; acquiring & processing bathymetry and sonar data, along-side processing ground-truth data for habitat assessment.

Until recently I had been working simultaneously on two very different contracts with the University; for one I worked as part of a very small team within the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences working on an EMFF funded project ‘Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System’ (SIFIDS), led by the University of St Andrews - Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and Marine Scotland. My role was to research and review existing survey methodologies for the quantification of scallop (Pecten maximus) population densities in Scottish coastal waters and further contribute to developing a revised method for remotely estimating population density. The other project aimed to quantify the land-atmosphere greenhouse gas balance of oil palm plantations planted on tropical peat in Sarawak, Borneo; this project followed directly on from a CBESS (Coastal Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service Sustainability) project. My role in CBESS involved extensive field work campaigns within a large collaborative project to assess coastal ecosystem function over a number of national tidally inundated saltmarshes within the UK. Alongside the main campaign I was additionally involved the continuous monitoring, through Eddy Covariance, of two of these saltmarshes representing east and west coastal regimes.

Conference Absracts / Papers

2016 Clement, R., Hill, T., Chocholek, M., Blei, E. and Williams, M., 2016, April. Field scale fluxes and uncertainties of CO2 and energy from a managed pasture in Scotland. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 18, p. 15983).

2010 Microbial Engineers in Aquatic Habitats. Sabine U. Gerbersdorf , Melanie Chocholek, Helen Lubarsky, Silke Wieprecht.(2010). International Association Hydrological Research Conference Paper. Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh.

2009 Biostabilisation: consequences for sediment stability and floc entrainment & transport. Sabine U. Gerbersdorf, Melanie Chocholek, Helen Lubarsky, Bernhard Westrich, David M. Paterson (2009).6th International SedNet Conference Paper. Hamburg, Germany.

source: symbiosis


Research Overview:



3 (of 3 /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/status/published available) for mc422. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

SIFIDS Work Package 3: Development of a novel, automated mechanism for the collection of scallop stock data C. Richard Bates, Melanie Chocholek, Clive Fox, John Howe, Niel Jones, Hannah Ladd-Jones, Mark Andrew James
The case for increasing the statistical power of eddy covariance ecosystem studies Timothy Charles Hill, Melanie Chocholek, Robert Clement
Global Change Biology 2017 vol. 23 pp. 2154-2165
The stabilisation potential of individual and mixed assemblages of natural bacteria and microalgae Cedric Roger Rene Hubas, Melanie Chocholek, Fredrik Larson, Werner Manz, David Maxwell Paterson, Sabine Ulrike Gerbersdorf
PLoS One 2010 vol. 5

Contact Details:

Dr Melanie Chocholek
Scottish Oceans Institute
East Sands
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: 01334 463483
room: 1.10


Sediment Ecology Research Group
School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443