MARINE BIOLOGIST / ECOLOGIST

Qualifications:
BSc Biological Science: Marine, Florida Atlantic University, USA 2002-2005
MSc Biological Science, Florida Atlantic University, USA 2005-2007
PhD Marine Studies, University of Plymouth, UK 2011-2018

Demetris grew up having a strong connection with the outdoor. He was intrigued by nature, the underwater, biodiversity and ecosystems. He received his BSc and MSc (thesis option) in Marine Biology at Florida Atlantic University (Department of Biological Sciences), carrying out his thesis in Florida Bay investigating phosphorous and enzymatic activities in water column fractions and the dominant benthic seagrass species. In 2008, upon his return to the island of Cyprus he founded MER and since then he operates as the Director and Principle Investigator, leads field expeditions, composes reports and research proposals. Between 2011-2018 he carried out his PhD at the University of Plymouth (School of Biological and Marine Sciences) studying the anthropogenic impacts to marine oligotrophic ecosystems. His research was conducted in Cyprus and involved a number of case studies on invasive species, on the effects of coastal industrialization and offshore aquaculture on macroalgal communities of shallow rocky reefs and seagrass meadows, on applying macroalgal and seagrass biotic indices, on long-term monitoring of Posidonia oceanica from fixed positions and on IMTA trials with extractive invertebrates to biomitigate fish farm effluents.

Over the years he has supervised many projects implemented by MER and coordinated numerous marine environmental impact assessment studies, baseline surveys and research projects. He acted as the scientific coordinator of the research program ΟΙΚΑΠΑΒ and the Cypriot principle investigator of the European FP7 IDREEM research program. He is currently the scientific coordinator of the LIFE+ Project titled RELIONMED aiming to set the first line of defense against the lionfish invasion in the Mediterranean.

His primary research interests are the sustainable development of human activities in the marine environment including mariculture, marine biodiversity, ecological characterization and assessments using biotic indicators, monitoring of key biotic and abiotic components of marine ecosystems, mitigation of anthropogenic impacts, invasive alien species and climate change impacts, conservation of marine biodiversity and restoration of priority marine habitats and protected species.

Contact at dkletou@merresearch.com