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Dr Michael Salter

Dr Michael Salter

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 Newman Lower Ground Floor (The Cave)


I am a marine geoscientist and ecologist with particular interests in the production and cycling of calcium carbonate in coastal and oceanic settings, how these processes interact with the environment, and their responses to climate change. Key research areas include: 1) quantifying biogenic carbonate production at the organism level (e.g., by fish, algae, and hosts of calcareous epipihytic communities) and using these data to construct carbonate production budget estimates at ecosystem, regional and global scales; 2) understanding and quantifying carbonate sediment dynamics in and around coral reefs, incorporating the roles of fish and other key organisms as important ecosystem engineers; and 3) characterising marine carbonates (morphology, mineralogy, solubility) in order to predict their post-production pathways (transport, accumulation, and dissolution). Together, this research helps to resolve broader research questions that I am driven to answer: how and to what extent does the production and cycling of marine carbonates: i) regulate seawater chemistry and the capacity of the oceans to absorb atmospheric CO2; and ii) provide ecosystem services through their influence on nearshore geomorphology and ecology. More recently through these research themes I have also begun to address questions around the ‘blue carbon’ applications of carbonate system processes.

My recent and ongoing research combines fieldwork in remote island and coastal settings (including Australia, New Zealand, The Bahamas, and Mexico) with lab-based experiments and analysis.  


2013 PhD in Marine Geoscience, Manchester Metropolitan University

2009 MESci in Geology, University of Liverpool

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Journal articles

Salter M, Perry C (In Press). Calcium carbonate production by fish in temperate marine environments. Limnology and Oceanography, 1-42.
Perry C (In Press). Geo-ecological functions provided by coral reef fishes vary among regions and impact reef carbonate cycling regimes. Ecosphere
Salter MA, Perry CT, Stuart-Smith R, Edgar GJ, Wilson RW, Harborne AR (In Press). Reef fish carbonate production assessments highlight regional variation in sedimentary significance. Geology
Perry C, Morgan KM, Salter MA (In Press). Sediment generation by Halimeda on atoll interior coral reefs of the southern Maldives: a census-based approach for estimating carbonate production by calcareous green algae. Sedimentary Geology
Ghilardi M, Salter MA, Parravicini V, Ferse SCA, Rixen T, Wild C, Birkicht M, Perry CT, Berry A, Wilson RW, et al (2023). Temperature, species identity and morphological traits predict carbonate excretion and mineralogy in tropical reef fishes. Nature Communications, 14(1). Abstract.
Salter MA, Rodríguez-Martínez RE, Álvarez-Filip L, Jordán-Dahlgren E, Perry CT (2020). Pelagic Sargassum as an emerging vector of high rate carbonate sediment import to tropical Atlantic coastlines. Global and Planetary Change, 195, 103332-103332.
Perry C, Salter M, Morgan K, Harborne A (2019). Census estimates of algal and epiphytic carbonate production highlight tropical seagrass meadows as sediment production hotspots. Frontiers in Marine Science
Salter MA, Harborne AR, Perry CT, Wilson RW (2016). Phase heterogeneity in carbonate production by marine fish influences their roles in sediment generation and the inorganic carbon cycle. Scientific Reports
Salter MA, Perry CT, Wilson RW (2014). Size fraction analysis of fish-derived carbonates in shallow sub-tropical marine environments and a potentially unrecognised origin for peloidal carbonates. Sedimentary Geology, 314, 17-30. Abstract.
Salter MA, Perry CT, Wilson RW (2012). Production of mud-grade carbonates by marine fish: Crystalline products and their sedimentary significance. Sedimentology
Perry CT, Salter MA, Harborne AR, Crowley SF, Jelks HL, Wilson RW (2011). Fish as major carbonate mud producers and missing components of the tropical carbonate factory. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(10), 3865-3869. Abstract.  Author URL.

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