Daisuke Taira

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore

M.Sc. in Marine Environmental Management, University of York

B.Sc. (Honours) in Ecological Sciences (Ecological Conservation and Management), University of Edinburgh

Research areas

Nature-based solutions, ecological engineering, restoration ecology, conservation biology, urban marine ecology, fish ecology

Research interests

Daisuke is interested in exploring the potential of nature-based approaches for coastal protection and climate adaptation, as opposed to traditional manmade coastal defenses. He is also interested in urban marine ecology, especially in understanding how marine organisms are impacted by and can adapt to coastal development, and how we can enhance ecological values of grey infrastructure.


Daisuke Taira is a research fellow at the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions. His current research aims to identify challenges and opportunities of nature-based and hybrid engineering solutions for coastal protection in Southeast Asia in response to a changing climate, and develop a decision-making framework to guide appropriate coastal management actions. As a marine ecologist, he has eight years of experience in ecological surveys and experiments with intensive intertidal and diving fieldwork. He previously worked as a research assistant at Tropical Marine Science Institute, NUS (2014-2017) and investigated the feasibility of in-situ coral nursery and transplantation to restore coral reefs in Singapore’s urbanised seascape. His PhD research (2017-2022), at Experimental Marine Ecology Laboratory, NUS, investigated how fishes respond to proliferation of seawalls along urban shorelines and whether hard ecological engineering can enhance fish diversity on these built coastal defences.

With his passion for marine life and conservation, Daisuke have been involved in reef restoration efforts in Singapore and Bali. He also actively contributes to documentation of local fish biodiversity by reporting new records and uncommon sightings of marine fishes in Singapore

Selected publications

  1. Ng D†, Taira D†*, Heery EC, Todd PA* (2021) Antagonistic effects of seawalls and urban sedimentation on epilithic algal matrix (EAM)-feeding fishes. Marine Pollution Bulletin 173: 113098.
  2. Heery EC*, Oh RK, Taira D, Ng D, Chim CK, Hartanto RS, Hsiung AR, Chai TMF, Loke LHL, Yeo HHJ, Todd PA (2020) Human-engineered hydrodynamic regimes as a driver of cryptic microinvertebrate assemblages on urban artificial shorelines. Science of the Total Environment 725, 138348.
  3. Ng CSL*, Huang D, Toh KB, Sam SQ, Kikuzawa YP, Toh TC, Taira D, Chan YKS, Hung LZT, Sim WT, Chou LM (2020) Responses of urban reef corals during the 2016 mass bleaching event. Marine Pollution Bulletin 154: 111111.
  4. Taira D, Heery EC, Loke LHL, Teo A, Bauman AG, Todd PA* (2020) Ecological engineering across organismal scales: trophic-mediated positive effects of microhabitat enhancement on fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 656: 181-192.
  5. Heery EC, Hoeksema BW*, Browne NK, Reimer JD, Ang PO, Huang D, Friess DA, Chou LM, Loke LHL, Saksena-Taylora P, Alsagoff N, Yeemin T, Sutthacheep M, Vok ST, Bos AR, Gumanao GS, Husseinn MAS, Waheed Z, Lane DJW, Johan O, Kunzmann A, Jompa J, Suharsonos, Taira D, Bauman AG, Todd PA* (2018) Urban coral reefs: Degradation and resilience of hard coral assemblages in coastal cities of East and Southeast Asia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 135: 654–681.
  6. Samsuri AN*, Kikuzawa YP, Taira D, Sam SQ, Sim WT, Ng CSL, Afiq-Rosli L, Wee TWD, Ng NK, Toh TC, Chou LM (2018) The effectiveness of Trapezia cymodoce in defending its host coral Pocillopora acuta against corallivorous Drupella. Marine Biology 165(4): 1-8.
  7. Taira D*, Poquita-Du RC, Toh TC, Toh KB, Ng CSL, Afiq-Rosli L, Chou LM, Song T (2018) Spatial variability of fish communities in a highly urbanised reef system. Urban Ecosystems 21(1): 85-95.
  8. Afiq-Rosli L*, Taira D, Loke HX, Toh TC, Toh KB, Ng CSL, Cabaitan PC, Chou LM, Song T (2017) In situ nurseries enhance coral transplant growth in sedimented waters. Marine Biology Research 13(8): 878-887.
  9. Chou LM*, Toh TC, Toh KB, Ng CSL, Cabaitan P, Tun K, Goh E, Afiq-Rosli L, Taira D, Du RCP, Loke HX, Khalis A, Li J, Song, T (2016) Differential response of coral assemblages to thermal stress underscores the complexity in predicting bleaching susceptibility. PLoS One 11(7) e0159755.
  10. Toh TC*, Ng CSL, Loke HX, Taira D, Toh KB, Afiq-Rosli L, Du RCP, Cabaitan P, Sam SQ, Kikuzawa YP, Chou LM, Song T (2017) A cost-effective approach to enhance scleractinian diversity on artificial shorelines. Ecological Engineering 99: 349-357.

 Conference and presentations

  1. Taira D, Ng D, Heery EC, Todd PA (2021) Use of seawalls by epilithic algal matrix (EAM) feeding fishes in a highly urbanised reef system. Oral presentation (virtual) delivered at 14th International Coral Reef Symposium, Bremen, Germany , 19-23 July 2021.
  2. Taira D, Heery EC, Loke LHL, Bauman AG, Todd PA (2019) Habitat enhancement can increase fish diversity in an urban coastal defence structure. Oral presentation delivered at 12th International Temperate Reef Symposium, Hong Kong, 6 – 11 January 2019.
  3. Taira D, Heery EC, Loke LHL, Bauman AG, Todd PA (2018) Habitat enhancement for augmenting seawall utilisation by reef fishes in a tropical urban shoreline. Oral presentation delivered at 5th International Marine Conservation Congress, Kuching, Malaysia, 22 – 30 June 2018.
  4. Taira D, Heery EC, Loke LHL, Bauman AG, Todd PA (2018) Response of coral reef fishes to small-scale habitat enhancement on tropical seawalls. Oral presentation delivered at 4th Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, Cebu, Philippines, 4 – 8 June 2018.
  5. Taira D, Poquita-Du RC, Toh TC, Toh KB, Ng CSL, Afiq-Rosli L, Chou LM, Song T. (2017) Reef fish assemblages in a highly disturbed reef system. Oral presentation delivered at Biological Science Graduate Congress, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 19-21 December 2017.
  6. Taira D, Toh TC, Ng CSL, Loke HX, Afiq-Rosli L, Toh KB, Cabaitan P, Chou LM (2016) Coral relocation as a possible mitigation tool to accelerate coral recovery from bleaching. Oral presentation delivered at the 8th International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts & Responses. Hanoi, Vietnam, 21-22 April 2016.