Dr Dan Smale is a marine ecologist with a research focus on understanding patterns of benthic (seafloor) marine biodiversity and the processes that drive them. He graduated from Plymouth University (BSc Marine Biology) in 2003 before working for the British Antarctic Survey for 5 years. During this time he spent 2.5 years living and working in Antarctica to study the effects of ice disturbance on benthic fauna. After completing his PhD, he moved to Perth to take up a postdoctoral position at the University of Western Australia, which involved developing indicators for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management and examining marine biodiversity patterns along the vast coastline of Western Australia. In 2012, Dan moved back to Plymouth to take up a Marie Curie Fellowship hosted at the MBA. He has since been awarded a NERC Independent Research Fellowship and is examining the impact of marine heatwaves on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as the influence of global change stressors on kelp forest ecosystems.