Research banner

Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Rupert Ormond

Professor Rupert Ormond is a tropical marine ecologist / biologist with a broad range of interests and experience, but with particular expertise in the behaviour and ecology of sharks and other coral reef fish, and in the monitoring and management of marine protected areas. He has previously served as Director of the Tropical Marine Research Unit at the University of York, as Director of the University Marine Biological Station at Millport (managed jointly by the Universities of London and Glasgow), and as Chief Scientist of the Save Our Seas Foundation. At Heriot-Watt University he contributes lectures to the school’s masters courses and supervises masters students’ projects concerned with coral reef ecology and management, or shark ecology and conservation.

During his career Professor Ormond has undertaken research and published papers on a wide range of topics including: Reef Fish Behaviour & Ecology, Coral Reef Ecology, Tropical Marine Fisheries, Marine Protected Area Planning & Management, Mangrove Ecology, Seagrass Ecology, and Sea Bird Behaviour & Distribution. He has a particular interest in the overall functioning and management of coastal ecosystems, especially coral reefs.

He has considerable experience of directing research and conservation programmes in tropical regions, particularly the Middle East (e.g. Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain) and Western Indian Ocean (e.g. Kenya, Pakistan, Seychelles, Maldives). He has also worked in other regions including South-east Asia, Australia, China, and the Caribbean.

He has also acted as consultant for a wide range of international agencies and non-government organisations (such as UNEP, IUCN, UNESCO), National Governments (e.g. Egypt, Saudi Arabia) and large consultancy companies (such as WS Atkins, Komex, and Huntings). He is a director of Marine Conservation International, a partnership formed by marine scientists to enable them to pursue projects with conservation objectives in the most effective way.

Currently he is involved in research on the behaviour of sharks (especially silky sharks and tiger sharks) in the Red Sea (Saudi Arabia) and Indian Ocean (Maldives and Seychelles), on the conservation of reef sharks (including Caribbean reef sharks and tiger sharks) in the Cayman Islands, and the ecology of basking sharks along the west coast of Scotland.

Other recent research has focused on the monitoring and management of corals and reef fishes in Egypt, and the distribution of corals and reef fishes in Pakistan. He has also in recent years assisted in studies of whales and dolphins, in Pakistan and in the Cayman Islands.


Peer-reviewed publications

Ponnampalam LS, Collins TJQ, Minton G, Schulz I, Gray H, Ormon RFG, Baldwin RM (2012) Stomach contents of small cetaceans stranded along the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea coasts of the Sultanate of Oman. Journal of the Marine Biological Association (UK).

Clarke C Lea JSE, Ormond, R.F.G. (2011) Reef-use and residency patterns of a baited population of silky sharks, Carcharhinus falciformis, in the Red Sea. Marine & Freshwater Research, 62, 668-675.

Gore MA, Rowat D, Hall J, Gell FR, Ormond RF (2008) Transatlantic migration and deep mid-ocean diving by basking shark. Biology Letters, 4, 395-398.

Tilot V, Leujak W Ormond RFG, Ashworth JA, Mabrouk A (2008) Monitoring of South Sinai coral reefs: influence of natural and anthropogenic factors. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 18, 1109-1126.

Leujak W, Ormond RFG (2008) Comparative accuracy and efficiency of six coral community survey methods. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 351, 168-187

Lambo AL, Ormond RFG (2006) Continued post-bleaching decline and changed benthic community of a Kenyan coral reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 52, 1617-1624.

Ashworth JS, Ormond RFG (2005) Effects of fishing pressure and trophic group on abundance and spillover across boundaries of a no-take zone. Biological Conservation 121, 333-344.

Ashworth JS, Ormond RFG, Sturrock HT (2004) Effects of reef-top gathering and fishing on invertebrate abundance across take and no-take zones. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 303, 221-242.

Galal N, Ormond RFG, Hassan O (2002) Effect of a network of no-take reserves in increasing catch per unit effort and stocks of exploited reef fish at Nabq, South Sinai, Egypt. Marine & Freshwater Research, 53, 199-205

Ashton EC, Hogarth PJ, Ormond RFG (1999) Breakdown of mangrove leaf litter in a managed mangrove forest in Peninsular Malaysia. Hydrobiologia 413: 77-88.

Medio D, Pearson M, Ormond RFG (1997) Effect of briefings on rates of damage to corals by divers. Biological Conservation, 79, 91-95.

Ormond RFG, Roberts JM, Jan RQ (1996) Behavioural differences in microhabitat use by damselfishes (Pomacentridae); implications for reef fish biodiversity. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 202, 85-95.

Watson M, Austin T, Righton DA, Ormond RFG (1996) The effects of fishing on coral reef fish abundance and diversity. Journal of the Marine Biological Association (UK), 76, 229-233.

Righton D, Kemp J, Ormond RFG (1996) Biogeography, community structure and diversity of Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean Butterflyfishes. Journal of the Marine Biological Association (UK), 76, 223-228.

Gaudian G, Medley PAH, Ormond RFG (1995) Estimation of the size of a coral reef fish population. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 122, 107-133

Watson M, Ormond RFG (1994) The effect of an artisanal fishery on the fish community structure of a Kenyan coral reef. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 109, 115-129.

Ormond RFG, & Banaimoon SA (1994) The ecology of intertidal macroalgal assemblages on the Hadramout coast of Southern Yemen, an area of seasonal upwelling. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 105, 105-120.

Roberts CM, Dawson Shepherd AR, Ormond RFG (1992) Large scale variation in assemblage structure of Red Sea butterflyfishes and angelfishes. Journal of Biogeography, 19, 239-250.

Ormond RFG, Bradbury RH, Bainbridge S, Fabricius K, Keesing J, De Vantier LM, Medlay P, Steven A (1991) Test of a model of regulation of crown-of-thorns starfish by fish predators. In: Bradbury RH (ed.) Acanthaster and the Coral Reef: A theoretical Perspective.

Price ARG, Dawson Shepherd AR, Crossland CJ, Medlay PAH, McDowall RJ, Ormond RFG, Stafford Smith MG, Wrathall TJ (1988) Aspects of seagrass ecology along the eastern coast of the Red Sea. Botanica Marina. 31, 83-92.

Book chapters

Ormond RFG, Gore MA (2004) No-take zones: does behaviour matter? in: Spedicato MT, Marmulla G, Lembo G (eds.) Aquatic Telemetry: Advances and Applications, published by FAO & COISPA, Rome. pp.1-19.

Watson M, Ormond RFG, Holliday L (1997) The role of Kenya's marine protected areas in artisanal fisheries management. Proc. 8th Coral Reef Sym 2, 1955-1960.

Ormond RFG, Roberts CM (1997) Coral Reef Fish Biodiversity. In: Ormond RFG, Gage J, Angel M (eds.) Marine Biodiversity, pp. 216-257. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521-55222-2

Ormond RFG, Hassan O, Medio D, Pearson M, Salem M (1997) Effectiveness of coral protection programmes in the Ras Mohammed National Park, Egyptian Red Sea. Proc. 8th Coral Reef Sym 2, 1931-1936.

Roberts CM, Ormond RFG, Shepherd ARD (1988). The usefulness of Butterflyfishes as Environmental indicators on coral reefs. Proc. 6th Int. Coral Reef Symp. Townsville, Australia. Vol. 2, pp. 331-336.

Ormond RFG, (1986) Conservation and Management. In: Key Environments - The Red Sea. Eds. Edwards, A.J. & Head, S.M. pp. 405-423. Pergammon.

Ormond RFG, Edwards SJ (1986) The Fishes. In: Key Environments - The Red Sea. Eds. Edwards AJ, Head SM pp.251-287. Pergammon.


Ormond RFG, Gage J, Angel M (eds.) (1997) Marine Biodiversity. Cambridge University Press.

Ormond RFG, Douglas A (eds.) (1996) The Exploitation of Coral Reefs. British Ecological Society Ecological Issues Booklet. Published by the Field Studies Council.

Bemert G, Ormond RFG (1981) Red Sea Coral Reefs. Routledge and Kegan Paul. 192pp


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.