Hollie Parry Bio

08 Sep 2022

2022 Joint Winner of our Undergraduate Dissertation Prize: Hollie Parry, University College London - “Projections of thermally induced coral bleaching across Caribbean reefs, using a marine heatwave algorithm”

In 2022 I graduated with a BSc in Geography from UCL, with my interest in climate change, the defining issue of our generation, underpinning my undergraduate degree. Having had a distinct passion for coral reefs, I was able to explore the impact of climate change on these beautiful and biodiverse underwater ecosystems through my dissertation.

Inspired by the work of a Lily Genevier (2019) paper, I chose to predict the probability of future coral bleaching events across Caribbean reefs, until the end of the century, using a marine heatwave algorithm. At the time of publication, this thesis is unique in its methodology as I chose to quantify the historic relationship between calculated marine heatwaves and coral bleaching records; this relationship was then used to forecast probabilities of thermally induced coral bleaching from CMIP6 sea surface temperature projections. I envision that these results, which predict the probability of future bleaching events until 2100, could inform conservation management strategies for Caribbean coral reefs.

My research revealed that marine heatwaves are increasing in frequency and intensity under climate change, with non-climate stressors exacerbating such effects. The consequences of such synergistic effects are widespread coral bleaching and degradation, happening at a rate of which the majority of Caribbean reef systems are unable to adapt or recover from.

Since graduating, I will remain at UCL to pursue an MSc in Climate Change, with the hope of develop further skills in climate modelling and to become equipped with the ability to understand and adapt to the climate crisis.