Department / group: Oceanlab, School of Biological sciences
Personal URL: n/a
Google Scholar URL: n/a

Research interests:

Impact of climate change and human activities on marine C and N cycling and the diversity and functioning of marine ecosystems;
Changes in arctic ecosystem functioning, under resource exploitation and climate change.
Development of novel experimental in situ technologies to address above questions. Interplay of Biodiversity and Biogeochemistry in Benthic Ecosystem Functioning (estuarine, shelf, continental margin (oxygen minimum zones, submarine canyons), deep-sea,). Benthic food webs and role of faunal processes in early diagenesis of organic matter.

Career history:

2005 – present Professor of Biological Oceanography, Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen
1999 – 2004: Head of Lander Group in Dept. of Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany.
1995- 1998 Scientist at GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geology, Kiel, Germany. (Dept. of Marine Environmental Geology).

Active research projects:

Deep-sea ecosystem functioning in a changing climate: consequences of changing sea-ice cover for Arctic benthic ecosystems . NERC standard grant proposal. 2013 –2017. PI

Using the intrinsic recovery capabilities of deep-sea and polar ecosystems to reduce the impact of accidental oil release. NERC Oil and Gas CTP. 2014-2018
Increasing oil spill preparedness for Scottish deep waters – the role of sediments in a deep water oil spill. MarCRF, 2014-2018.
‘Site-specific, DNA- and RNA- based biomarkers to monitor low-level oil pollution and test the effectiveness of bioremediation approaches. NERC iCASE; 2014- 2018. PI
Planet Ocean – Streamlining the Marine Biodiscovery Pipeline (PharmaSea). Proposal in response to KBBE.2012.3.2-01: Innovative marine biodiscovery pipelines for novel industrial products Call: FP7-KBBE-2012-6 – single stage. CoI Aberdeen (PI: M Jaspers). 2012 – 2016
MAC-EXP: A pressurised coring, experimentation and cultivation system for deep-sea sedimentary ecosystems. NERC Technology-led standard grant. 2013 – 2016. PI
The natural capacity for oil degradation of marine environments: towards developing DNA-based biosensors for monitoring low-level oil pollution. NERC, 2014 – 2015. PI

Recent publications:

• Cordes, EE., Jones, DO., Schlacher, TA., Amon, DJ., Bernardino, AF., Brooke, S., Carney, R., DeLeo, DM., Dunlop, KM., Escobar-Briones, EG., Gates, AR., Génio, L., Gobin, J., Henry, L-A, Herrera, S., Hoyt, S., Joye, S., Kark, S., Mestre, NC., Metaxas, A., Pfeifer, S., Sink, K., Sweetman, AK. & Witte, UF. (2016). ‘Environmental Impacts of the Deep-Water Oil and Gas Industry: A Review to Guide Management Strategies’. Frontiers in Environmental Science, vol 4, 58. DOI: 10.3389/FENVS.2016.00058

• Woulds, C., Bouillon, S., Cowie, GL., Drake, E., Middelburg, JJ. & Witte, U. (2016). ‘Patterns of carbon processing at the seafloor: The role of faunal and microbial communities in moderating carbon flows’. Biogeosciences, vol 13, no. 15, pp. 4343-4357.
DOI: 10.5194/BG-13-4343-2016
• Kazanidis, G., Henry, L-A, Roberts, JM. & Witte, UFM. (2016). ‘Biodiversity of Spongosorites coralliophaga (Stephens, 1915) on coral rubble at two contrasting cold-water coral reef settings’. Coral Reefs, vol 35, no. 1, pp. 193-208.
[ONLINE] DOI: 10.1007/S00338-015-1355-2
• Gontikaki, E., Thornton, B., Cornulier, T. & Witte, U. (2015). ‘Occurrence of Priming in the Degradation of Lignocellulose in Marine Sediments’. PLoS ONE, vol 10, no. 12, 0143917.
DOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0143917

• Jobstvogt, N., Townsend, M., Witte, U. & Hanley, N. (2014). ‘How Can We Identify and Communicate the Ecological Value of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Services?’. PLoS ONE, vol 9, no. 7, 100646. DOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0100646