Laura Blamey

Marine ecology, reef ecology, ecosystem change, coastal ecosystems, fisheries ecology, ecosystem modelling


James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute
Department of Environment
University of Seychelles


I’m a marine ecologist, formerly in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, and now at the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, University of Seychelles. My main interests lie in coastal ecology, species interactions, ecosystem change, as well as ecosystem modelling and statistical ecology. My research centres around coastal ecosystems, with a strong focus on kelp forest systems and nearshore reefs and the key species inhabiting these systems. I use both empirical and modelling approaches to try and understand the interactions between key species in kelp ecosystems, shifts in ecosystem states, drivers of ecosystem change and how these changes might influence important fisheries.



Senior Lecturer, University of Seychelles, 2017-present

NRF Research Career Advancement Fellow, University of Cape Town, 2014-2017

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cape Town, 2011-2013


Grants and Awards:

Earthwatch Coral Communities Seychelles Fellowship, 2017

NRF Research grant for 5 years  - 2014-2019

FSU Mote Symposium Young Investigator Award, 2011



  1. Blamey, L.K. and J.J. Bolton. 2017. The economic value of temperate reefs and kelp ecosystems in the southern Benguela: past, present, future. Journal of Marine Systems.


  1. Kirkman, S., Blamey, L., Lamont, T., Field, J., Bianchi, G., Huggett, J., Hutchings, L., Jackson Veitch, J., Jarre, A., Lett, C., Lipinski, M., Mafwila, S., Pfaff, M., Samaai,T., Shannon, L., Shin, Y., van der Lingen, C., Yemane, D. 2016. Spatial characterisation of the Benguela ecosystem for ecosystem-based management. African Journal of Marine Science 38:7-22. Citations: 3


  1. Jarre, A., Hutchings., L., Kirkman, S. P., Kreiner, A., Tchipalanga, P., Kainge, P., Uanivi, U., Van Der Plas, A., Blamey, L. K., Coetzee, J., Lamont, T., Samaai, T., Verheye, H. M., Yemane, D., Axelsen, B. E., Ostrowski, M., Stenevik, E. K., Loeng, H. 2015. Synthesis: Climate effects on biodiversity, abundance and distribution of marine organisms in the Benguela. Fisheries Oceanography 24:122-149. Citations: 18


  1. Jarre, A., Hutchings, L., Crichton, M., Wieland, K., Lamont, T., Blamey, L., Illert, C., Hill, E. and M. van den Berg. 2015. Oxygen-depleted bottom waters along the west coast of South Africa, 1950-2011. Fisheries Oceanography 24:56-73. Citations: 9


  1. Blamey, L.K., Shannon, L.J., Bolton, J., Crawford, R., Dufois, F., Evers-King, H., Griffiths, C.L., Hutchings, L., Jarre, A., Rouault, M., Watermeyer, K. and H. Winker. 2015. Ecosystem change in the southern Benguela and the underlying processes. Journal of Marine Systems 144: 9-29. Citations 25


  1. Ling, S.D., Scheibling, R.E., Johnson, C.R., Rassweiler, A., Shears, N., Connell, S.D., Salomon, A., Norderhaug, K.M., Perez-Matus, A., Hernandez, J.C., Clemente, S., Blamey, L., Hereu, B., Ballesteros, E., Sala, E., Garrabou, J., Cebrian, E., Zabala, M., and D. Fujita. 2015. Global regime shift dynamics of catastrophic sea urchin overgrazing. Philosophical Transactions B 370: 20130269. Citations 61


  1. Plagányi, E., Ellis, N., Blamey, L.K., Morello, E.B., Norman-Lopez, A., Robinson, W., Sporcic, M., Sweatman, H., 2014. Ecosystem modelling provides clues to understanding ecological tipping points Marine Ecology Progress Series 512: 99-113. Citations: 7


  1. Blamey, L.K., Plagányi, E.E. and G.M. Branch. 2014. Was overfishing of predatory fish responsible for a lobster-induced regime shift? Ecological Modelling 273: 140-150. Citations: 10


  1. Mead, A., Griffiths, C.L., Branch, G.M., McQuaid, C.D., Blamey, L.K., Bolton, J.J., Anderson, R., DuFois F., Rouault, M., Froneman, P.W., Whitfield, A.K., Harris, L., Nel, R., Pillay, D., Adams, J.B., 2013. Human-mediated drivers of change – impacts on coastal ecosystems and marine biota of South Africa. African Journal of Marine Science 35: 403-425. Citations: 24


  1. Blamey, L.K., Howard, J.A.E, Agenbag, J. and A. Jarre. 2012. Regime-shifts in the southern Benguela shelf and inshore region. Progress in Oceanography 106: 80-95. Citations 33


  1. Blamey, L.K., Plagányi, É.E. and G.M. Branch. 2013. Modeling a regime shift in a kelp-forest ecosystem caused by a lobster range-expansion. Bulletin of Marine Science 89: 347-375. Citations: 15


  1. Blamey, L.K. and G.M. Branch. 2012. Regime shift of a kelp-forest benthic community induced by an ‘invasion’ of the rock lobster Jasus lalandii.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 420-421: 33-47. Citations 18


  1. Haley, C.N., Blamey, L.K., Atkinson, L. and G.M. Branch. 2011. Dietary change of the rock lobster Jasus lalandii after an ‘invasive’ geographic shift: effects of size, density and food availability. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 93: 160-170. Citations 14


  1. Plagányi-Lloyd, É., Weeks, S., Skewes, T., Gibbs, M., Poloczanska, E., Norman-Lopez, A., Blamey, L., Soares, M. and W. Robinson. 2011. Assessing the adequacy of current fisheries management under changing climate: a southern synopsis. ICES Journal of Marine Science 68: 1305-1317. Citations: 33


  1. Blamey, L.K., Branch, G.M. and K.E. Reaugh. 2010. Temporal changes in kelp-forest benthic communities following an invasion by the rock lobster Jasus lalandiiAfrican Journal of Marine Science 32: 481-490. Citations: 20


  1. Blamey, L.K. and G.M. Branch. 2009. Habitat diversity relative to wave action of rocky shores: implications for the selection of marine protected areas. Aquatic conservation: marine and freshwater ecosystems 19: 645-647. Citations: 27


Publications submitted

McQuaid, C. and L.K. Blamey. Submitted. Ex Africa semper aliquid novi: 25 years of advances in South African marine ecology. Systematics Association Special Volume "Interactions in the Marine Benthos - A Regional and Habitat Perspective"


Blamey, L.K., De Lecea, A., Jones, L. and G.M. Branch. Submitted. Has the diet of the Tristan lobster Jasus tristani at Nightingale Island been influenced by the 2011 soya spill?


Current Postgrad Students:



Genevieve Maharaj (co-supervising with A/Prof Coleen Moloney)


Ross Coppin               (co-supervising with A/Prof A.J. Smit, UWC)

Sizo Sibanda               (co-supervising with Dr Kerry Sink, SANBI)

Loyiso Dunga             (co-supervising with Drs Mark Rothman, Kerry Sink, Melanie Luck-Vogel and Prof John Bolton)


Graduated Postgrad Students


2017 Kathryn Morris           

2017 David Levy        (co-supervisors Dr S. Elwen, Ms B. Jones, SEASEARCH)

2016 Luke Jones        (co-supervisors Dr A. de Lecea, Prof G.M. Branch)