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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.

02 March 2020

In the context of her doctoral degree, Paola Parretti, in collaboration with Dr Jasmine Ferrario, Prof. Agnese Marchini (University of Pavia, Italy) Dr. João Canning Clode (PhD co-advizor, MARE, ARDITI) and Prof. Ana Costa (PhD Advisor, University of Azores), has developed a fuzzy interference system to assess the risk of a diving site to receive non-indigenous species (NIS) transported by diving boats. This “free-ride” model is composed by three levels: Level 1 evaluates the risk of each marina to act as NIS source. Level 2 assesses the risk of a diving boat to transport NIS to a diving site. Finally, Level 3 calculates the risk of a diving site to receive NIS.
For more detailed information on this model, please read Parretti et al., 2020. Free rides to diving sites: the risk of marine non-indigenous species dispersal. Ocean and Coastal Management (in press).You can also download the model here

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.


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