I started my CoMPLEX MRes in 2004, which I completed in 2005. Afterwards, I started my CoMPLEX PhD with my primary supervisor Professor Robert Seymour. My PhD work was on modelling tropical coral reef ecosystems. These ecosystems support the livelihoods of millions of people worldwide, by providing goods and services such as the provision of fish and tourism opportunities. However, they are being degraded rapidly, and this calls for improved management.
As part of the Modelling and Decision Support Working Group (MDSWG) of the Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building for Management Program (CRTR-CBMP), I constructed differential equations models describing the dynamics of key coral reef functional groups such as hard corals, algae and fish. The models operate at a local scale of approximately tens of metres to kilometres. My coral reef models were parameterised and analysed using a variety of techniques, such as equilibrium and stability analyses and sensitivity analyses. As a result, key processes underlying reef degradation were identified, as well as the potential for coral reefs to undergo undesirable "phase shifts" from coral- to algal-dominance. My models form part of a suite of models developed by the MDSWG that can be used to improve coral reef management.
I completed my PhD in 2009. Currently, I am working at Queen's University Belfast on modelling the effects of commercial fisheries on the structure and functioning of temperate marine ecosystems.
Next employment after CoMPLEX
Publications arising from work done at CoMPLEX
- Seymour, R. M., G. Knight and T. Fung. 2010. Conditions for global dynamic stability of a class of resource-bounded model ecosystems. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 72: 1971-2003.
- Fung, T., R. M. Seymour and C. R. Johnson. 2011. Alternative stable states and phase shifts in coral reefs under anthropogenic stress. Ecology 92: 967-982.
- Melbourne-Thomas, J., C. R. Johnson, T. Fung, R. M. Seymour, L. M. Chérubin, J. E. Arias-González and E. A. Fulton. 2011. Regional-scale scenario modeling for coral reefs: a decision support tool to inform management of a complex system. Ecological Applications 21: 1380-1398.
- Fung, T., R. M. Seymour and C. R. Johnson. 2013. Warning signals of regime shifts as intrinsic properties of endogenous dynamics. The American Naturalist 182: 208-222.