Dr Samuel Starko
Dr Samuel Starko combines techniques in field ecology and molecular biology to improve understanding of how ecosystems respond to climate change and how managers and conservationists can increase the resilience of future ecosystems.

Samuel is broadly interested in the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. His research is interdisciplinary, combining tools and techniques from community and functional ecology, biogeography, molecular biology and conservation science to drive understanding of how marine ecosystems are impacted by climate change and what we can do to help increase their resilience. He has conducted research in a variety of temperate and tropical ecosystems from the cool, nutrient rich waters of the Northeast Pacific to the tropical coral reefs of the equatorial Pacific, and is now working in Australia’s rapidly changing temperate-tropical transition zone. The focus of Samuel’s current research is on adaptability: to what extent can marine habitat-forming species adapt to their environment and are there interventions that scientists and managers can perform to help with this process? Samuel works primarily on large brown seaweeds, especially kelp forests, which provide habitat for a wide range of species and fix considerable carbon which can fuel food webs or be transported to the deep sea, where this carbon can be sequestered for long periods of time.

Samuel’s current project builds on a strong track-record of high profile research. He received his PhD in 2019 from the University of British Columbia and conducted his first postdoctoral research position at the University of Victoria (Canada) where he held a highly competitive federal fellowship to support his research on the drivers of resilience in the face of extreme warming events brought on by climate change.

ResearchingMarine ecology
AffiliatedUniversity of Western Australia|
Focus areaOceans, Planet