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Dr Oscar Serrano

Oscar is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow within the Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research in the School of Science.


I have over seven years research experience in marine ecology and palaeoecology, and in marine biogeochemical cycles. In Spain I worked at the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes and the University of Santiago de Compostela.

  • 2012: Post Doctoral Researcher, School of Natural Sciences.
  • 2011: Research Contract, University of Santiago de Compostela, Project “AGRIWESTMED - Origins and spread of agriculture in the south-western Mediterranean region”. Coordinator: Antonio Martinez cortizas.
  • 2005-2010: Research Contracts and Fellows, Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes, Projects “SUMAR II - The carbon sink associated with marine macrophytes and development of their potential in paleoecology and environmental management”; “SUMAR - El papel de las praderas marinas mediterráneas en el ciclo global del carbono”; “CARBOMED - Magnitude of the carbon sink associated with the seagrass Posidonia oceanica and potential in paleoecology”; “Asistencia técnica para el estudio de confirmación de la evaluación de la calidad ambiental de las masas de agua costeras utilizando macroalgas e invertebrados bentónicos como bioindicadores”; “WADI - Sustainable management of the Mediterranean coastal fresh and transitional water bodies: a socio-economic and environmental analysis of changes and trends to enhance and sustain stakeholder’s benefits”.

Professional Associations

  • Member of the consolidated research group directed by Iosune Uriz, GRUPO DE ECOLOGIA BENTONICA, SGR2005-000277 at the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CSIC).
  • Foundation member of BIOSFERA, Associació d’Educació Ambiental.

Research Areas and Interests

  • Marine Ecology and Palaeoecology
  • Marine Biogeochemical Cycles (with a focus on the role of seagrasses as a Blue Carbon sink and the reconstruction of past metal pollution in coastal areas).
  • Seagrass Ecology and Paleoecology
  • Global Change
  • Use of Stable Isotopes in Ecological Studies
  • Basic and Applied Ecology of Aquatic Macrophytes
  • Balance of Ecosystem
  • Detrital Compartment in Marine Macrophytes
  • Biomarkers and Analysis of Ecosystem Health


  • Doctor of Marine Ecology, Spain, 2011.


Recent Research Grants

  • Mangroves, seagrass meadows and local communities: development and exchange of experiences linked to the throughout management of biodiversity and services in the Caribbean region (MAPCO),  INVEMAR,  Grant,  2019 - 2020,  $59,822.
  • Novel approach to understand past and future dynamics in coastal ecosystems,  Australian Research Council,  Grant - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award,  2017 - 2020,  $372,000.
  • Seagrass meadows as metal filters in a high-polluted coastal marine environment,  Ecological Society of Australia,  Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment,  2017 - 2020,  $2,400.
  • Coastal Carbon Opportunities: demonstrating additionality and potential for future offsets in South Australia,  Goyder Institute,  Coastal Carbon Opportunities,  2017 - 2019,  $115,593.
  • Carbon sequestration in seagrass meadows in Greece: potential for climate change mitigation,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme - 2018 Round 1,  2018 - 2019,  $8,296.
  • Visiting Fellow Ines Mazarrasa Elosegui,  Edith Cowan University,  Edith Cowan University, School of Science Visiting Fellow Grant Scheme,  2018,  $5,000.
  • Australian-wide risk assessment of carbon dioxide emissions from seagrass habitat under current and future global change threats ,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Collaboration Enhancement Scheme - 2016 Round 1,  2016 - 2017,  $6,000.
  • Seagrass archives to reveal environmental history-reconstruction of metals contamination history at Port Pirie (SA).,  Ecological Society of Australia,  Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment,  2016 - 2017,  $7,500.
  • Technical Review - Blue Carbon Emissions Reduction Opportunities,  Department of Environment Regulation WA,  Grant,  2016,  $30,000.
  • Assessing the capacity of seagrass sediments to sequester carbon dioxide and metal pollution: past, present and future scenarios,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2014 (Round 2),  2014 - 2016,  $138,096.
  • A novel approach to assess pollution in coastal ecosystems,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2015,  2015 - 2016,  $24,700.
  • Organic Carbon Preservation in Estuarine Seagrass Meadows of Western Australia,  Ernest Hodgkin Trust,  Scholarship,  2012 - 2014,  $5,031.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Serrano Gras, O., Kelleway, JJ., Lovelock, C., Lavery, P., (2019), Conservation of Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. Coastal Wetlands: An Integrated Ecosystem Approach, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63893-9.00028-9.

Journal Articles

  • Gerarldi, NR., Ortega, A., Serrano Gras, O., Macreadi, PI., Lovelock, C., Krause-Jensen, D., Kennedy, H., Lavery, P., Pace, ML., Kaal, J., D, CM., (2019), Fingerprinting Blue Carbon: Rationale and Tools to Determine the Source of Organic Carbon in Marine Depositional Environments. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(May, 2019), Article number 263, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.263.
  • Kaal, J., Serrano Gras, O., Martínez Cortizas, A., Baldock, JA., Lavery, P., (2019), Millennial-scale changes in the molecular composition of Posidonia australis seagrass deposits: Implications for Blue Carbon sequestration. Organic Geochemistry, 137(November 2019), Article no.103898, DOI:
  • Belshe, EF., Sanjuan, J., Leiva-Dueñas, C., Piñeiro-Juncal, N., Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Mateo, M., (2019), Modeling Organic Carbon Accumulation Rates and Residence Times in Coastal Vegetated Ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124(na), 20, DOI: 1029/2019JG005233.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Lovelock, C., Atwood, TB., Macreadie, PI., Canto, R., Phinn, S., Arias-Ortiz, A., Bai, L., Baldock, J., Bedulli, C., Carnell, P., Connolly, RM., Donaldson, P., Esteban Pacheco, A., Ewers Lewis, CJ., Eyre, BD., Hayes, MA., Horwitz, P., Hutley, LB., Kavazos, C., Kelleway, J., Kendrick, GA., Kilminster, K., Lafratta, A., Shing, L., Lavery, P., Maher, DT., Marba, N., Masque Barri, P., Mateo, M., Mount, R., Ralph, PJ., Roelfsema, C., Rozaimi, M., Ruhon, R., Salinas Zapata, C., Samper-Villarreal, J., Sanderman, J., Sanders, CJ., Santos, I., Sharples, C., Steveb, AD., Cannard, T., Trevathan-Tackett, SM., Duarte, CM., (2019), Australian vegetated coastal ecosystems as global hotspots for climate change mitigation. Nature Communications, 10(1), article no.4313, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12176-8.
  • Krause-Jensen, D., Serrano Gras, O., Apostolaki, ET., Gregory, DJ., Duarte, CM., (2019), Seagrass sedimentary deposits as security vaults and time capsules of the human past. Ambio, 48(4), 325-335, DOI: 10.1007/s13280-018-1083-2.
  • Saderne, V., Geraldi, N., Macreadie, PI., Maher, D., Middleburg, J., Serrano Gras, O., Almahasheer, H., Arias-Ortiz, A., Cusack, M., Eyre, B., Fourqurean, J., Kennedy, H., Krause-Jensen, D., Kuwae, T., Lavery, P., Lovelock, C., Marba, N., Masque Barri, P., Mateo, M., Mazarrasa, I., McGlathery, K., Oreska, M., Sanders, C., Santos, I., Smoak, J., Tanaya, T., Watanabe, K., Duarte, CM., (2019), Role of carbonate burial in Blue Carbon budgets. Nature Communications, 10(1), Article no. 1106, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08842-6.
  • Macreadie, P., Anton, A., Raven, JA., Beaumont, N., Connolly, RM., Friess, DA., Kelleway, J., Kennedy, H., Kuwae, T., Lavery, P., Lovelock, C., Smale, DA., Apostolaki, ET., Atwood, TB., Baldock, J., Bianchi, TS., Chmura, GL., Eyre, BD., Fourqurean, JW., Hall-Spencer, JM., Huxham, M., Hendriks, IE., Krause-Jensen, D., Laffoley, D., Luisetti, T., Marbà, N., Masque Barri, P., McGlathery, KJ., Megonigal, JP., Murdiyarso, D., Russell, BD., Santos, R., Serrano Gras, O., Silliman, BR., Watanabe, K., Duarte, CM., (2019), The future of Blue Carbon science. Nature Communications, 10(1), Article number 3998, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11693-w.
  • Lafratta, A., Serrano Gras, O., Masque Barri, P., Mateo, M., Fernandes, M., Gayland, S., Lavery, P., (2019), Seagrass soil archives reveal centennial-scale metal smelter contamination while acting as natural filters. Science of the Total Environment, 649(1 February 2019), 1381-1392, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.400.
  • Young, M., Macreadie, PI., Duncan, C., Carnell, P., Nicholson, E., Serrano Gras, O., Duarte, CM., Shiell, G., Baldock, J., Ierodiaconou, D., (2018), Optimal soil carbon sampling designs to achieve cost-effectiveness: a case study in blue carbon ecosystems. Biology Letters, 14(9), 20180416, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0416.
  • Serrano, E., Coma, R., Inostroza, K., Serrano Gras, O., (2018), Polyp bail-out by the coral Astroides calycularis (Scleractinia, Dendrophylliidae). Marine Biodiversity: international journal of marine science, 48(3), 1661-1665, Heidelberg, Germany, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/s12526-017-0647-x.
  • Kaal, J., Serrano Gras, O., Del Rio, JC., Rencoret, J., (2018), Radically different lignin composition in Posidonia species may link to differences in organic carbon sequestration capacity. Organic Chemistry Frontiers, 124(2018), 247-256, DOI: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2018.07.017.
  • Leiva-Dueñas, C., López-Merino, L., Serrano Gras, O., Martínez Cortizas, A., Mateo, M., (2018), Millennial-scale trends and controls in Posidonia oceanica (L. Delile) ecosystem productivity. Global and Planetary Change, 169(October 2018), 92-104, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2018.07.011.
  • Almahasheer, H., Serrano Gras, O., Duarte, C., Irigoien, X., (2018), Remobilization of heavy metals by mangrove leaves. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5(13 December 2018), article no.484, Frontiers Media S.A., DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00484.
  • Krause-Jensen, D., Lavery, P., Serrano Gras, O., Marba, N., Masque Barri, P., Duarte, C., (2018), Sequestration of macroalgal carbon: the elephant in the Blue Carbon room. Biology Letters, 14(6), article no.20180236, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0236.
  • Saderne, V., Cusack, M., Alamahsheer, H., Serrano Gras, O., Masque Barri, P., Arias-Ortiz, A., Krishnakumar, P., Rabaoui, L., Qurban, MA., Duarte, CM., (2018), Accumulation of Carbonates Contributes to Coastal Vegetated Ecosystems Keeping Pace With Sea Level Rise in an Arid Region (Arabian Peninsula). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123(5), 1498-1510, DOI: 10.1029/2017JG004288.
  • Arias-Ortiz, A., Garcia-Orellana, J., Serrano Gras, O., Mazarrasa, I., Marbà, N., Lovelock, C., Lavery, P., Duarte, CM., (2018), Reviews and syntheses: 210Pb-derived sediment and carbon accumulation rates in vegetated coastal ecosystems – setting the record straight. Biogeosciences, 15(22), 6791-6818, DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-6791-2018.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Almahasheer, H., Duarte, CM., Irigoien, X., (2018), Carbon stocks and accumulation rates in Red Sea seagrass meadows. Scientific Reports, 8(1), article no.15037, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-33182-8.
  • Mazarrasa, I., Samper-Villarreal, J., Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Lovelock, C., Marbà, N., Duarte, CM., Cortés, J., (2018), Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 134(September 2018), 106-117, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.01.059.
  • Arias-Ortiz, A., Serrano Gras, O., Masque Barri, P., Lavery, P., Mueller, U., Kendrick, G., Rozaimi, M., Esteban Pacheco, A., Fourqurean, J., Marba, N., Mateo, M., Murray, K., Rule, MJ., Duarte, C., (2018), A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks. Nature Climate Change, 8(4), 338-344, DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y.
  • Macreadie, PI., Ewers-Lewis, C., Whitt, AA., Ollivier, Q., Trevathan-Tackett, SM., Carnell, P., Serrano Gras, O., (2018), Comment on 'Geoengineering with seagrasses: Is credit due where credit is given?'. Environmental Research Letters, 13(2), Article number 028002, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaa7ad.
  • Macreadie, PI., Serrano Gras, O., Maher, DT., Duarte, CM., Beardall, J., (2017), Addressing calcium carbonate cycling in blue carbon accounting. Limnology and Oceanography, 2(6), 195-201, DOI: 10.1002/lol2.10052.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Serrano, E., Inostroza, K., Lavery, P., Mateo, MA., Ballesteros, E., (2017), Seagrass Meadows Provide 3D Habitat for Reef Fish. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4(28 Feb 2017), Article no.54, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00054.
  • Macreadie, PI., Ollivier, Q., Kelleway, J., Serrano Gras, O., Carnell, P., Ewers Lewis, C., Atwood, T., Sanderman, J., Baldock, J., Connolly, R., Duarte, C., Lavery, P., Steven, A., Lovelock, C., (2017), Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes. Scientific Reports, 7(10 March), Article number 44071, DOI: 10.1038/srep44071.
  • Lopez-Merino, L., Colas-Ruiz, NR., Adame, MF., Serrano Gras, O., Cortizas, AM., Mateo, M., (2017), A six thousand-year record of climate and land-use change from Mediterranean seagrass mats. Journal of Ecology, 105(5), 1267-1278, John Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12741.
  • Lovelock, CE., Atwood, T., Baldock, J., Duarte, CM., Hickey, S., Lavery, P., Masque Barri, P., Macreadie, PI., Ricart, AM., Serrano Gras, O., Steven, A., (2017), Assessing the risk of carbon dioxide emissions from blue carbon ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(5), 257-265, USA, John Wiley & Sons, DOI: 10.1002/fee.1491.
  • Macreadie, P., Serrano Gras, O., Duarte, C., Beardall, J., Maher, D., (2017), Commentary: Evaluating the Role of Seagrass in Cenozoic CO2 Variations. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 5(55), article no.55.
  • Atwood, T., Connolly, RM., Almahasheer, H., Carnell, P., Duarte, C., Ewers Lewis, C., Irigoien, X., Kelleway, J., Lavery, P., Macreadie, P., Serrano Gras, O., Sanders, C., Santos, I., Steven, A., Lovelock, C., (2017), Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses. Nature Climate Change, 7(7), 523-528, London, United Kingdom, Nature Publishing Group, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3326.
  • Almahasheer, H., Serrano Gras, O., Duarte, C., Arias-Ortiz, A., Masque Barri, P., Irigoien, X., (2017), Low Carbon sink capacity of Red Sea mangroves. Scientific Reports, 7(1), Article Number: 9700, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10424-9.
  • Jamaludin, M., Lavery, P., Serrano Gras, O., Kyrwood, D., (2016), Long-term carbon storage and its recent loss in an estuarine Posidonia australis meadow (Albany, Western Australia). Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 171(1), 58-65, London, UK, Academic Press, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2016.01.001.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Davis, G., Lavery, P., Duarte, CM., Martinez-Cortizas, A., Mateo, M., Masque Barri, P., Arias-Ortiz, A., Jamaludin, M., Kendrick, GA., (2016), Reconstruction of centennial-scale fluxes of chemical elements in the Australian coastal environment using seagrass archives. Science of the Total Environment, 541(2016), 883-894, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.017.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Ruhon, R., Lavery, P., Kendrick, G., Hickey, S., Masque Barri, P., Arias-Ortiz, A., Steven, A., Duarte, C., (2016), Impact of mooring activities on carbon stocks in seagrass meadows. Scientific Reports, 6(2016), Article no. 23193, DOI: 10.1038/srep23193.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Masque Barri, P., Inostroza, K., Bongiovanni, J., Duarte, CM., (2016), Seagrass sediments reveal the long-term deterioration of an estuarine ecosystem. Global Change Biology, 22(4), 1523-1531, United Kingdom, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13195.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Lopez-Merino, L., Ballesteros, E., Mateo, M., (2016), Location and associated carbon storage of erosional escarpments of seagrass Posidonia mats. Frontiers in Marine Science, 367(Mar. 2016), article no.42, Elsevier, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2016.00042.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Duarte, CM., Kendrick, GA., Calafat, A., York, PH., Steven, A., Macreadie, PI., (2016), Can mud (silt and clay) concentration be used to predict soil organic carbon content within seagrass ecosystems?. Biogeosciences, 13(17), 4915-4926, Copernicus GmbH, DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4915-2016.
  • Sawstrom, C., Serrano Gras, O., Jamaludin, M., Lavery, P., (2016), Utilization of carbon substrates by heterotrophic bacteria through vertical sediment profiles in coastal and estuarine seagrass meadows. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 8(5), 582-589, Wiley-Blackwell, DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.12406.
  • Serrano Gras, O., Ricart, A., Lavery, P., Mateo, M., Arias-Ortiz, A., Masque Barri, P., Jamaludin, M., Stevem, A., Duarte, CM., (2016), Key biogeochemical factors affecting soil carbon storage in Posidonia meadows. Biogeosciences, 13(15), 4581-4594, DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4581-2016.
  • Kaal, J., Serrano Gras, O., Nierop, KG., Schellerkens, J., Martínez Cortizas, A., Mateo, M., (2016), Molecular composition of plant parts and sediment organic matter in a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) mat. Aquatic Botany, 133(1 Aug. 2016), 50-61, Netherlands, Elsevier Science BV, DOI: 10.1016/j.aquabot.2016.05.009.
  • Mazarrasa, I., Marba, N., Lovelock, C., Serrano Gras, O., Lavery, P., Fourqurean, J., Kennedy, H., Mateo, M., Krause-Jensen, D., Steven, A., Duarte, C., (2015), Seagrass meadows as a globally significant carbonate reservoir. Biogeosciences, 12(16), 4993-5003, Goettingen, Germany, Copernicus GmbH, DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-4993-2015.
  • Lopez-Merino, L., Serrano Gras, O., Adame, MF., Mateo, M., Cortizas, AM., (2015), Glomalin accumulated in seagrass sediments reveals past alterations in soil quality due to land-use change. Global and Planetary Change, 133(2015), 87-95, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.08.004.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Carbon storage and preservation in seagrass meadows
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