Research at Canning-Clode Marine Lab (CCML) explores the effects of four major patterns and drivers on hard-bottom benthic assemblages: (1) latitude, (2) spatial scale, (3) disturbance and (4) climate change. This work focuses mainly on marine fouling communities as a model system due to their global distribution, fast growth in warmer waters and their capacity to settle on artificial surfaces. These assemblages represent an excellent study system for ecologists and are therefore often used to test ecological theory.


One of our principal interests is the study of biological invasions by non-indigenous species (NIS), one of the greatest environmental and economic threats and a leading cause of biodiversity loss at a global scale. In the marine system in particular, biological invasions are largely concentrated in coastal communities, where the rate of detected invasions has significantly increased in recent years. Most marine invasions have resulted from commercial shipping, resulting from the unintentional transfer of large numbers of animal and plant species in ballast water and hull fouling. Our research integrates in a timely manner with the cutting edge of questions and hypotheses now being posed in invasion science: what phenomena control the success of invasive species? What processes influence the persistence of non-indigenous species over space and time?


By implementing field studies and collaborative projects, the Canning-Clode Marine Lab seeks to contribute to unlock these phenomena and processes. This will permit greater predictive power over which species will invade, and where, and which species will persist and even flourish in a new region, producing the much-needed and critical tools for environmental managers seeking to reduce or prevent invasions of new exotic species.



Come work with us!


We encourage undergraduate and graduate students to develop their own ideas and projects. Funding is limited but we are open to explore different directions to accommodate valuable and innovative ideas. Send us an email with a short project outline and a brief CV.

28 February 2019

New publication:

Ramalhosa, P., Gestoso, I., Duarte, B., Caçador, I., & Canning-Clode, J. (2019). Metal pollution affects both native and non-indigenous biofouling recruitment in a subtropical island system. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 141, 373-386 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.02.072

4 October 2018

New publication:

Riera L, Ramalhosa P, Canning-Clode J, Gestoso I,. (2018). Variability in the settlement of non-indigenous species in benthic communities from an oceanic island. Helgoland Marine Research 72:15 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s10152-018-0517-3

2 March 2018

New publication:

Gestoso, I., Ramalhosa, P. and Canning-Clode, J. (2018) Biotic effects during the settlement process of non-indigenous species in marine benthic communities. Aquatic Invasions. Volume 13, Issue 2: 247–259 DOI:https://doi.org/10.3391/ai.2018.13.2.06

14 November 2017

New publication:

Ramalhosa P., Nebra A., Gestoso I. and Canning-Clode J. (2017). First record of the non-indigenous isopods Paracerceis sculpta (Holmes, 1904) and Sphaeroma walkeri Stebbing, 1905 (Isopoda, Sphaeromatidae) for Madeira Island. Crustaceana, 90, 1747-1764,         DOI:https://doi.org/10.1163/15685403-00003727

7 April 2017

Open position! Our lab has one spot available for one Marine Biologist: MIMAR Project - Monitoring, control and mitigation of proliferation of marine organisms associated with human disturbance and climate change in the Macaronesian Region.

6 April 2017

We are recruiting! Our Lab has one spot available for one Environmental Scientist: PLASMAR Project, financed under the Interreg MAC 2014-2020 Programme, aims to support the development of standardized methologies for Maritime Spatial Planning and to facilitate the implementation of MSPD 2014/89/EU.

22 March 2017

New publication:

Gestoso I, Ramalhosa P, Oliveira P, & Canning-Clode J, (2017) Marine protected communities against biological invasions: A case study from an offshore island.

Marine PollutionBulletin

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.03.017

22 March 2017

Léa Riera, 25 from France, and she will be working for the next 5 months with the Canning-Clode Marine Lab team to carry out her final internship as a part of her Marine Science Master in Montpellier.

13 March 2017

We have recently welcomed our newest (Erasmus+) intern - Peter Prikryl – who will be joinning our team during the next 5-6 months, to get hands-on experience and further develop his skill set and expertise in marine science.

23 January 2017

For the next three years Susanne Schäfer will be at the Canning-Clode Marine Lab at MARE-Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre to carry out her doctoral work.

17 January 2017

This week two new students arrived from Germany to perform a short term internship in the framework of the ERASMUS program.

9 November 2016

The last weekend our researchers, Patrício Ramalhosa and Ignacio Gestoso, participated in an initiative organized by the Town Hall of Porto Santo with the collaboration of Diving Center "Porto Santo Sub".

28 October 2016

We are recruiting! Our Lab has one spot available for one student to participate in next year's GAME (Global Approach by Modular Experiments) project on grazing interactions with benthic organisms.

24 October 2016



30 September 2016

Our researcher Dr. Ignacio Gestoso participated in the Aquatic Macroecology Meeting at Charles Darwin House, London 2016.

5-9 September 2016

Our researcher Dr. Ignacio Gestoso participated in the XIX Iberian Symposium of Marine Biology Studies (XIX SIEBM) at Porto.

1 September 2016


The Canning-Clode Marine Lab team at MARE - Marine and Environment Science Centre has arrived at the new facility at Quinta do Lorde Marina.

August 2016

During de summer, the Canning-Clode Marine Lab team had developed activities about “marine waste”, specifically microplastics.

18-22 July 2016

Between 18-22 July, our researchers Dr. João Canning-Clode and Dr. Ignacio Gestoso were in Terceira Island (Azores) in the “Island Biology 2016”

10 June 2016

Patrício Ramalhosa, João Canning-Clode and Javier Souto, wrote a new article about “Diversity of Bugulidae (Bryozoa, Cheilostomata) colonizing artificial substrates in the Madeira Arquipelago (NE Atlantic Ocean).


25 October 2015


Ignacio Gestoso contribute with a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology,  on the ecological interactions responses of two intertidal mussel species to changes in temperature and pH.


21 October 2015


A new paper just came out in the journal Diversity & Distribution with João Canning Clode as a co-author. This is part of a broad project conducted on the east coast of the USA focusing on evaluating a peculiar vector for the introduction of invasive species: Live bait!.

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