Dr Nicky Allison

Dr Nicky Allison
Senior Lecturer


I study biomineralisation and the chemistry of biogenic carbonates. I maintain a sophisticated aquarium facility for the culture of tropical corals and other organisms over variable seawater pCO2, alkalinity and temperature scenarios. My current research interests include:

Biomineralisation and climate change: I study biomineralisation in tropical reef building corals and the impact of climate change e.g. rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification, on coral calcification and metabolic processes.

The geochemistry of biogenic carbonates: The skeletal chemistry of marine organisms may record information on the local environmental conditions prevailing at the time of their deposition and the analysis of fossil specimens can be used to estimate past climate. My research focuses on understanding the environmental and biological processes which affect the skeletal geochemistry of corals, foraminifera and sclerosponges.

Reconstruction of tropical and sub-tropical Pacific seawater temperatures: I am using measurements of Sr/Ca, δ11B and δ18O in fossil corals from Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef to reconstruct records of sea surface temperature, ice volume and regional salinity in the Pacific Ocean at key times in the Quaternary and beyond.

Current funding:
The Leverhulme Trust: The control of coral biomineralisation

Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland: Identifying the source of skeletal carbon for tropical reef building corals

source: symbiosis


8 (of 8 published available) for na9 with keyword Coral clear keyword filter. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Effects of seawater pCO2 and temperature on calcification and productivity in the coral genus Porites spp. Catherine Sarah Cole, Adrian Anthony Finch, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Nicola Allison
Coral Reefs 2018 vol.37 pp.471-481
Influences of coral genotype and seawater pCO2 on skeletal Ba/Ca and Mg/Ca in cultured massive Porites spp. corals Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Adrian Anthony Finch
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology vol.In press
The effect of ocean acidification on tropical coral calcification Nicola Allison, Catherine Sarah Cole, Christopher James Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, James William Buchanan Rae, Adrian Anthony Finch
Chemical Geology 2018 vol.497 pp.162-169
Understanding cold bias: variable response of skeletal Sr/Ca to seawater pCO2 in acclimated massive Porites corals Catherine Sarah Cole, Adrian Anthony Finch, Christopher Hintz, Kenneth Hintz, Nicola Allison
Scientific Reports 2016 vol.6
Corals concentrate dissolved inorganic carbon to facilitate calcification Nicola Allison, I. Cohen, Adrian Anthony Finch, J. Erez, A.W. Tudhope
Nature Communications 2014 vol.5
SIMS sputtering rates in biogenic aragonite Nicola Allison, David Chambers, Adrian Anthony Finch,
Surface and Interface Analysis 2013 vol.45 pp.1389-1394
Mg structural state in coral aragonite and implications for the paleoenvironmental proxy Adrian Anthony Finch, Nicola Allison
Geophysical Research Letters 2008 vol.35

Contact Details:

Dr Nicky Allison
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

tel: +44 01334 463952
fax: +44 01334 463949



Scottish Oceans Institute
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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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