Prof Francesca Porri

Prof Francesca Porri
Prof Francesca Porri

Research Interests:

Coastal systems; marine biology; organismal and population ecology; ecological engineering.

Position: Senior Scientist, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity; Honorary Professor, Rhodes University

Professor Francesca Porri is interested in marine benthic ecosystems, particularly those found at the interface between the coastal and pelagic environments. Her research, incorporates organismal-, community- and ecosystem- based approaches to investigate the early life history processes that influence the dynamics of invertebrate population across various systems, such as rocky shores, mangroves, sandy beaches, estuaries and nearshore coastal waters.

Prof. Porri’s research team, (the Coastal and Ocean Sciences Team (COST), employs multi-disciplinary quantitative methods to identify which life history stages respond to environmental change in such a way as to have the greatest impact for population dynamics. Their work also focuses on larval connectivity and its effect on population dynamics, as understanding the effects of processes like dispersal and recruitment into adult populations is fundamental for predicting population resilience and response to human-driven changes. The team also explores ecological engineering practices as a tool to enhance coastal biodiversity in urban systems, and improve their functionality. Recently, COST has incorporated transdisciplinary dimensions to study the role of nature-based solutions to improve the functioning and biodiversity of coastal urban habitats sustainably and ethically. The co-creation of nature-based structures entails a close partnership between scientific and indigenous knowledge holders. This is the sphere where eco-musicological interdisciplinary actions aim to facilitate equitable development of community, and preservation of indigenous knowledge while assisting in integrating the needs of the coastal environment and its people.



Institution and location


MSc Zoology + BSc Biology

Universita’ degli Studi di Firenze (Italy)


PhD. Zoology

Rhodes University, Makhanda


SACNASP Prof Nat Sci No. 400340/12


Google Scholar Profile


Twitter: @francesca_porri 

Research Project Twitter: @ImiseeProject

Prof Francesca Porri's COST Research Group