A marine biologist, John Burt, uses the Arabian Gulf - the world's warmest sea - as a 'natural laboratory' to understand how marine organisms respond to and cope with extreme environmental conditions and to provide insights into the potential impacts of future climate change on marine systems across the tropics. With projects on corals, coral symbionts, reef fishes, mangroves, and seagrasses, Burt leads a diverse team of researchers deepening our understanding of the marine biology of the Arabian region, with projects ranging from genomics and molecular ecology to physiology and ecosystem-level processes. In addition, Burt and his team continue to use science to support locally relevant policy, management, and conservation practices.
Burt chairs the Mideast Coral Reef Society and is a council member of the International Coral Reef Society. Within the UAE, Burt is a member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Sciences and is also the lead of the 'Climate Change & Terrestrial, Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems' research cluster in the Climate Change Research Network for the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Burt was awarded the 2017 Sheikh Mubarak Al Nahyan Award for the Natural History of the UAE for his continuing contributions to enhancing public awareness of the marine systems of the Emirates.
Burt is a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBiol) in the College of Applied Biology and a Professional Biologist (PBiol) with ASPB; he regularly provides consulting expertise to regional government and industry partners.