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Dr Ines Lange   (nee Stuhldreier )

Dr Ines Lange (nee Stuhldreier )

Senior Research Fellow

 Amory D436


Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


My background is in marine biology, with a focus on tropical coastal ecosystems. I have been working in coral reef ecology since my Master thesis project, for which I analysed the influence of overfishing and nutrient input on invertebrate recruitment and macroalgal growth in coral reefs of the Gulf of Thailand. Over the course of my doctorate, I studied the influence of seasonal upwelling on the composition and primary production of coral reef communities at the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. In Costa Rica I also looked at the impacts of changing environmental conditions on coral growth and reef carbonate erosion. This nicely connected to my postdocs at the University of Exeter, assessing reef carbonate budgets and reef geo-eological functions.

After helping to develop the ReefBudget methodology for the Indo-Pacific and updating the methodology for the Caribbean, I am now conducting carbonate budget surveys wherever I go. This enables us to assess the impacts of coral bleaching events, seabird nutrient subsidies or coral restoration on important geo-ecological reef functions such as habitat provision, coastal protection and sediment supply. I am also a big fan of parrotfish which I followed around for hours to quantify their erosion and sediment production potential, and I am a keen promoter of photogrammetry in coral reef science.

Broad research specialisms:

Coral reef ecology, coral growth and carbonate production, bioerosion of reef substrates, parrotfish, environmental change, photogrammetry and 3D modelling


PhD Coral Reef Ecology, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, Bremen, Germany
MSc Marine Biology, University of Bremen, Germany
BSc Biosciences, University of Rostock, Germany

Research group links

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Research interests

My research addresses questions about the response of coral reef ecosystems to natural and human-induced environmental disturbances. Over my career I have used manipulative experiments to study the effects of local anthropogenic stressors, and I conducted long-term observations of reefs in naturally highly variable environments. Synthesizing research on ecological and physiological responses of reef organisms to their environment and the importance of reef carbonate structures for habitat provision, coastal protection and sediment supply to low-lying islands, I am currently focussing on quantifying reef geo-ecological functions. In this sense I am evaluating the impacts of environmental change on the state and functioning of reef carbonate structures and the potential beneficial effects of active management interventions, such as restoration and rat eradication from islands.

Research projects

Impacts of bleaching on reef carbonate budgets in the Chagos Archipelago (2018-2021)

I started in Exeter as a postdoctoral researcher for a project funded by the Bertarelli Program in Marine Science. The research was focused on assessing rates of reef carbonate production and bioerosion at sites across a remote Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and providing improved local-scale metrics for quantifying bioerosion and coral growth rates. Surveys were conducted before and after a large-scale bleaching event in 2016, in order to track the process of reef degradation and subsequent recovery of reef functions. I also developed a non-invasive workflow to quantify coral growth rates using photogrammetry and 3D modelling.

Quantifying the growth rates of novel coral assemblages on Caribbean reefs (2019-2022)

With a small research grant from the British Ecological Society I was able to further develop my photogrammetry and 3D modelling workflow and compare different metrics of coral growth and calcification for six coral species in the Mexican Caribbean, some of which did not have any prior data on growth. We also showed pronounced differences in growth and calcification between a fore reef and a back reef site, illustrating the need for species- and site-specific growth rate data to quantify important reef functions.

Implications of nutrient flow and feedbacks across the seabird-island-reef system (2021-2025)

We were successful in winning another bid funded by the Bertarelli Program in Marine Science together with researchers from Lancaster University and Oxford University. In this multidisciplinary project we seek to quantify the importance of seabird nutrient subsidies on tropical islands and adjacent reefs, and to assess impacts on coral reef ecology, coral reef geomorphology, and the feedback loops through this system. Our understanding will support tropical island and reef conservation and restoration, providing scientific evidence to promote rat eradication and renaturation programs. Geographic locations for this project include the Chagos Archipelago, Seychelles and French Polynesia. 

Ecological functions on restored coral reefs (2022-2024)

In collaboration with researchers from Lancaster University and IPB Unversity in Indonesia and restoration practitioners from Mars Sustainable Solutions we investigated whether restored reefs harbour the same biodiversity, deliver the same ecosystem functions and create the same socio-economic opportunities as healthy reefs. Surveying reefs that were restored a few months to four years ago, we showed a full recovery of carbonate budgets within just four years. Other ecosystem functions auch as coral biodiversity still differ from nearby healthy reefs.   

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Journal articles

Lange ID, Razak TB, Perry CT, Maulana PB, Prasetya ME, Irwan, Lamont TAC (2024). Coral restoration can drive rapid reef carbonate budget recovery. Current Biology, 34(6), 1341-1348.e3.
Lloyd Newman JE, Perry CT, Lange ID (2023). Quantifying endolithic bioerosion rates on remote coral reefs in the Central Indian Ocean. Coral Reefs, 42(5), 1163-1173. Abstract.
Perry CT, Lange ID, Stuhr M (2023). Quantifying reef-derived sediment generation: Introducing the SedBudget methodology to support tropical coastline and island vulnerability studies. Cambridge Prisms: Coastal Futures, 1 Abstract.
Molina‐Hernández A, Medellín‐Maldonado F, Lange ID, Perry CT, Álvarez‐Filip L (2022). Coral reef erosion: in situ measurement on different dead coral substrates on a Caribbean reef. Limnology and Oceanography, 67(12), 2734-2749. Abstract.
Taylor BM, Duenas AEK, Lange ID (2022). Decadal changes in parrotfish assemblages around reefs of Guam, Micronesia. CORAL REEFS, 41(6), 1693-1703.  Author URL.
Husband E, Perry CT, Lange ID (2022). Estimating rates of coral carbonate production from aerial and archive imagery by applying colony scale conversion metrics. Coral Reefs, 41(4), 1199-1209. Abstract.
Perry CT, Salter MA, Lange ID, Kochan DP, Harborne AR, Graham NAJ (2022). Geo‐ecological functions provided by coral reef fishes vary among regions and impact reef carbonate cycling regimes. Ecosphere, 13(12). Abstract.
Lange ID, Perry CT, Stuhr M (2022). Recovery trends of reef carbonate budgets at remote coral atolls 6 years post‐bleaching. Limnology and Oceanography, 68(S1). Abstract.
Lange ID, Molina-Hernández A, Medellín-Maldonado F, Perry CT, Álvarez-Filip L (2022). Structure-from-motion photogrammetry demonstrates variability in coral growth within colonies and across habitats. PLOS ONE, 17(11), e0277546-e0277546. Abstract.
Lange ID, Benkwitt CE, McDevitt-Irwin JM, Tietjen KL, Taylor B, Chinkin M, Gunn RL, Palmisciano M, Steyaert M, Wilson B, et al (2021). Wave exposure shapes reef community composition and recovery trajectories at a remote coral atoll. Coral Reefs, 40(6), 1819-1829. Abstract.
Lange ID, Perry CT (2020). A quick, easy and non-invasive method to quantify coral growth rates using photogrammetry and 3D model comparisons. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 11(6), 714-726. Abstract.
Hays GC, Koldewey HJ, Andrzejaczek S, Attrill MJ, Barley S, Bayley DTI, Benkwitt CE, Block B, Schallert RJ, Carlisle AB, et al (2020). A review of a decade of lessons from one of the world’s largest MPAs: conservation gains and key challenges. Marine Biology, 167(11).
Perry CT, Morgan KM, Lange ID, Yarlett RT (2020). Bleaching-driven reef community shifts drive pulses of increased reef sediment generation. Royal Society Open Science, 7(4), 192153-192153. Abstract.
Lange ID, Perry CT, Alvarez-Filip L (2020). Carbonate budgets as indicators of functional reef “health”: a critical review of data underpinning census-based methods and current knowledge gaps. Ecological Indicators, 110 Abstract.
Lange ID, Perry CT, Morgan KM, Roche R, Benkwitt CE, Graham NAJ (2020). Site-Level Variation in Parrotfish Grazing and Bioerosion as a Function of Species-Specific Feeding Metrics. Diversity, 12(10), 379-379. Abstract.
Lange ID, Perry CT (2019). Bleaching impacts on carbonate production in the Chagos Archipelago: influence of functional coral groups on carbonate budget trajectories. Coral Reefs, 38(4), 619-624. Abstract.
Sánchez-Noguera C, Stuhldreier I, Cortés J, Jiménez C, Morales Á, Wild C, Rixen T (2018). Natural ocean acidification at Papagayo upwelling system (north Pacific Costa Rica): implications for reef development. Biogeosciences, 15(8), 2349-2360. Abstract.
Wizemann A, Nandini SD, Stuhldreier I, Sanchez-Noguera C, Wisshak M, Westphal H, Rixen T, Wild C, Reymond CE (2018). Rapid bioerosion in a tropical upwelling coral reef. PLOS ONE, 13(9).  Author URL.
Roth F, Stuhldreier I, Sánchez-Noguera C, Carvalho S, Wild C (2017). Simulated overfishing and natural eutrophication promote the relative success of a non-indigenous ascidian in coral reefs at the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Aquatic Invasions, 12(4), 435-446.
Stuhldreier I, Sánchez-Noguera C, Roth F, Jiménez C, Rixen T, Cortés J, Wild C (2015). Dynamics in benthic community composition and influencing factors in an upwelling-exposed coral reef on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. PeerJ, 3, e1434-e1434. Abstract.
Stuhldreier I, Sánchez-Noguera C, Rixen T, Cortés J, Morales A, Wild C (2015). Effects of Seasonal Upwelling on Inorganic and Organic Matter Dynamics in the Water Column of Eastern Pacific Coral Reefs. PLOS ONE, 10(11), e0142681-e0142681.
Stuhldreier I, Bastian P, Schönig E, Wild C (2015). Effects of simulated eutrophication and overfishing on algae and invertebrate settlement in a coral reef of Koh Phangan, Gulf of Thailand. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 92(1-2), 35-44.
Roth F, Stuhldreier I, Sánchez-Noguera C, Morales-Ramírez Á, Wild C (2015). Effects of simulated overfishing on the succession of benthic algae and invertebrates in an upwelling-influenced coral reef of Pacific Costa Rica. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 468, 55-66.
Stuhldreier I, Sánchez-Noguera C, Roth F, Cortés J, Rixen T, Wild C (2015). Upwelling Increases Net Primary Production of Corals and Reef-Wide Gross Primary Production Along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2
WILD C, RIXEN T, SANCHEZ-NOGUERA C, STUHLDREIER I, JIMENEZ C, MERICO A (2014). Massive coral tissue ablations in reefs of Pacific Costa Rica. Galaxea, Journal of Coral Reef Studies, 16(1), 13-14.


Lange I, Schoenig E, Khokiattiwong S (2018). Chapter 22: Thailand. In Sheppard C (Ed) World Seas: an Environmental Evaluation Volume II: the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, Academic Press. Abstract.

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Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Jake Lloyd Newman PhD student
  • Julia Rodriguez Fillol MSc by Research

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