Dr Cath Waller


Faculty of Science and Engineering


01482 347534

Dr Waller developed a passion for marine biology after learning to dive. Her work is mainly on or around the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc Islands. This is one of the fastest warming places on the planet and little is known about what is going to happen to the plants and animals that live there.

She is interested in how changes in environmental conditions and increasing human activity will affect the native species and how non-native species may alter the ecosystems.


Research Interests

  • Marine biology and ecology; polar marine and intertidal ecology;

  • Impacts of microplastics in the marine environment;

  • Biogeography, biodiversity and ecology of Antarctic marine invertebrates:

  • Introduction of non-native species to the Southern Ocean;

  • Impacts of climate change on Arctic and Antarctic invertebrates

  • Impacts of human activity on polar ecosystems


Waller C L, Griffiths H J, Waluda C M, Thorpe S E, Loaiza I, Moreno B, Pacherres C O and Hughes K A (2017), 'Microplastics in the Antarctic Marine System: An Emerging Area of Research', Science of the Total Environment, 598, pp.220-227, doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.283.

Griffiths H J and Waller C L (2016), 'The First Comprehensive Description of the Biodiversity and Biogeography of Antarctic and Sub‐Antarctic Intertidal Communities', Journal of Biogeography, 43(6), pp.1143-1155.doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12708.

Waller C L, Overall A, Fitzcharles E M and Griffiths H (2017), 'First Report of Laternula Elliptica in the Antarctic Intertidal Zone', Polar Biology, 40(1), pp.227-230, doi:10.1007/s00300-016-1941-y.

Waller C L, Barnes D K and Convey P (2006), 'Ecological Contrasts across an Antarctic Land–Sea Interface', Austral Ecology, 31(5), pp.656-666, doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2006.01618.x.

Convey P, Key R S, Key R J D, Belchier M. and Waller C L (2011), 'Recent Range Expansions in Non-Native Predatory Beetles on Sub-Antarctic South Georgia', Polar Biology, 34(4), pp.597-602, doi:10.1007/s00300-010-0909-6.


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

Environmental Problems and Issues (level 6 UG)

Polar Systems (level 6 UG)

Global Change (level 6 UG)

Research PhDs

Polar Marine ecology, Community ecology, microplastics in marine environment, Vectors for transmission of non-native species into Southern ocean

Completed PhDs 

Andrew Richardson. 2014. Patterns of mussel bed infaunal community structure and function at local, regional and biogeographic scales.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

PhD, British Antarctic Survey (Open University sponsoring establishment scheme) (2007)

BSc (Hons) (1st class) Coastal Marine Biology, University of Hull (2003)

BA Architecture, Leeds Metropolitan University (1993)

Awards and accolades