Dr. Tom Letessier

Adjunct Research Fellow


Zoological Society of London
Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY

Email | Phone

Latest tweets

  • RT : As a psychologist, I’m going to teach you a powerful, paradoxical trick to overcome your mind’s resistance when it doesn’t want to do a task. GIVE IN by telling your mind you’ll TAKE IT REAL EASY, but in exchange, it’ll cooperate in starting right away. Overcomes inertia 💯!,
  • RT : Our friend and colleague Georgina Mace, who died this week aged 67, is remembered for her contribution to science – both at ZSL and beyond during an illustrious lifelong scientific career. ,
  • RT : Collaboratively developed guide for using BRUVS Must read for any new BRUVer,

I am a marine ecologist whose primary expertise lies in the understanding of open-ocean and pelagic ecosystems. I have a keen interest in pelagic biogeography, biodiversity, ecosystem function and conservation. My PhD studies involved quantifying the influence of bathymetric features on pelagic ecology using field sampling, statistical modelling techniques, and biochemical laboratory analysis such as stable isotopes and fatty acids.

I am currently working on pelagic predators, utilizing mid-water baited camera technology to inform conservation and management strategies. As part of my research fellowship I have coordinated remote field expeditions in Pitcairn, Chagos, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Shark Bay (Australia), the Timor Sea, and the coastal Skagerrak.

  • Publications
  • Grants & Awards
  • Collaborations
  • Media

In press

Juhel JB, Vigliola L, Mouillot D, Kulbicki M, Letessier TBL, Meeuwig JJ, Wantiez L. 2017. Reef accessibility impairs the protection of sharks. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13007.


Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ, Huang Z, Letessier TBL, Nichol SL, Caley MJ, Watson RA. 2017. Continental-scale hotspots of pelagic fish abundance inferred from commercial catch records. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26: 1098–1111.

Laptikhovsky V, Boersch-Supan P, Bolstad K, Kemp K, Letessier T, Rogers AD. 2017. Cephalopods of the Southwest Indian OceanRidge: A hotspot of biological diversity and absence of endemism. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 136: 98-107

Letessier TB, De Grave S, Boersch-Supan PH, Kemp K, Brierley AS, Rogers A. 2017. Seamount influences on mid-water shrimps (Decapoda) and gnathophausiids (Lophogastridea) of the South-West Indian Ridge. Deep Sea Research part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 136: 85-97.

Tickler DM, Letessier TB, Koldewey HJ, Meeuwig JJ. 2017. Drivers of abundance and spatial distribution of reef-associated sharks in an isolated atoll reef system. PloS ONE, 12(5): e0177374.


Letessier TB, Cox MJ, Meeuwig JJ, Boersch-Supan PH, Brierley AS. 2016. Enhanced pelagic biomass around coral atolls. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 546: 271-276.


Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ, Salgado Kent C, Letessier TB, Jenner C. 2015. Topographic determinants of mobile predator hotspots: Current knowledge and future directions. Biological Reviews, 90(3): 699-728.

Braithwaite JE, Meeuwig JJ, Jenner CS, Letessier TB, Brierley AS. 2015. From sea ice to blubber: Linking whale condition to krill abundance using historical records. Polar Biology, 38(8): 1195-1202.

Letessier TB, Juhel, JB, Vigliola, L, Meeuwig JJ. 2015. Low cost GoPro cameras generates accurate underwater stereo measurements of fish. Journal Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 466: 120-126.

Letessier TB, Bouchet PJ, Meeuwig JJ. 2015. Sampling mobile oceanic fishes and sharks: Implications for fisheries and conservation planning. Biological Reviews, 92(2): 627-646.


Letessier TB, Bouchet PJ, Reisser, J, Meeuwig JJ. 2014. Baited videography reveals remote foraging and migration behaviour of sea turtles. Marine Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-014-0287-3


Cox MJ, Letessier TB, Brierley AS. 2013. Zooplankton and micronekton biovolume at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone estimated by multi-frequency acoustic survey. Deep Sea Research part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 98(part B): 269–278.

Letessier TB,  Meeuwig JJ, Kemp K, Groves L, Bouchet PJ, Chapuis L, Vianna GM, Gollock M, Koldewey HJ. 2013. Assessing pelagic fish populations: The application of demersal video techniques to the mid-water environment. Methods in Oceanography, 8: 41-55.

Letessier TB, Kawaguchi S, King R, Meeuwig JJ, Cox MJ. 2013. A robust and economical underwater stereo video system to observe Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). Open Journal of Marine Science, 3(3): art34580.

Priede IG, Bergstad OA, Miller PI, Vecchione M, Gebruk AV, Falkenhaug T, Billett DSM, Craig J, Dale AC, Shields MA, Tilstone GH, Sutton TT, Gooday AJ, Inall ME, Jones DOB, Martinez-Vicente V, Menezes GM, Niedzielski T, Borsteinn S, Rothe N, Rogacheva A, Alt CHS, Brand T, Abell R, Brierley AS, Cousins NJ, Crockard D, Hoezel AR, Hoines AS, Letessier TB, Read AJ, Shimmield T, Cox MJ, Galbraith JK, Gordon JDM, Horton T, Neat F, Lorance P. 2013. Does the presence of a mid-ocean ridge enhance biomass and biodiversity? PLoS ONE, 8: e61550.

Sutton TT, Letessier TB, Bardarson B. 2013. Midwater fishes collected in the vicinity of the Sub-Polar Front, Mid-North Atlantic Ocean, during ECOMAR pelagic sampling. Deep Sea Research part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 98(part B): 292–300.


Letessier TB, Pond DW, McGill RAR, Reid WDK, Brierley AS. 2012. Trophic interaction of invertebrate zooplankton on either side of the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone / Subpolar Front of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Journal of marine systems, 94: 174–184.


Letessier TB, Cox MJ, Brierley AS. 2011. Drivers of variability in Euphausiid species abundance throughout the Pacific Ocean. Journal of Plankton Research, 33(9): 1342–1357.

Letessier TB, Falkenhaug T, Debes H, Bergstad OA, Brierley AS. 2011. Abundance patterns and species assemblages of euphausiids associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, North Atlantic. Journal of Plankton Research, 33(10): 1510–1525.


Letessier TB, Cox MJ, Brierley AS. 2009. Drivers of euphausiid species abundance and numerical abundance in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biology, 156: 2539–2553.


National Geographic/Waitt Foundation – Research Award [14950 USD]. Exploring the Depths of the Chagos Marine Reserve (grant no W356-14)


University of Western Australia – Research Collaboration Award [10,000 AUD]. Awarded for the running of a workshop to synthesis available data sets on baited mid-water baited cameras to assess the status of Indo-Pacific oceanic predators in large marine reserves


National Environment Research Council – Grant (UK) EK151-13/09 [13,925 GBP]. Stable isotope analysis on samples collected at sea

Russel Trust Award – University of St Andrews [1,000 GBP]. Travels to participate in an oversea research cruise

Andrew Brierley – Pelagic Ecology Research Group. University of St-Andrews

Martin Cox – Australian Antarctic Division

Laurent Vigliola & JB Juhel – IRD. Noumea New Caledonia

Guy Stevens & Daniel Fernando – Manta Trust

Heather Koldewey – Zoological Society of London

Phil Hosegood & Martin Attrill – University of Plymouth

Barbara Block – University of Stanford


Blog 2015 Chagos field expedition https://www.zsl.org/blogs/chagos-expedition/chagos-2015-introduction-and-meet-the-team

National Geographic – Video Deep ocean dropcam deployed in the Chagos Marine Reserve http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/150421-chagos-dropcam-shark-vin


Norwegian newspaper ‘Dagbladet’ – Interview Alleged increase in global shark attacks. http://www.dagbladet.no/2013/04/24/nyheter/utenriks/hai/dyrenes_nyheter/haiangrep/26837148/