Spatial ecology of fear

(or, how predation risk shapes seascapes)

Growing from my work on the behavioural ecology of coral reefs, this component of our research focuses on understanding how small-scale predator-prey interactions can scale up to generate large-scale footprints on marine landscapes. As part of this work, I am currently leading a project investigating whether this concept can be developed into a conservation tool for assessing marine reserve effectiveness.

Projects in progress

Most recently, we’ve been trialing the use of drones to get extremely high-resolution aerial imagery and and night-vision remote videography to quantify the landscape-scale effects of herbivores and, potentially, predators on reef seascapes. Here’s a clip from a recent trip to Heron Island showing a drone launch and recovery sequence, and some images of our most recent night-vision work.



Madin, E.M.P., A.R. Harbourne, T.B. Atwood, and O.J. Luiz. In prep. Risky business: landscapes of fear in natural reef ecosystems.

Madin, E.M.P., J.S. Madin and D.J. Booth. 2011. Landscape of fear visible from space. Nature’s Scientific Reports 1; DOI: 10.1038/srep00014.

Selected media coverage & press releases