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Dr Robert Ellis

Dr Robert Ellis

NERC Industrial Innovation Fellow – Sustainable Aquaculture

 6958

 +44 (0)1392 726958

 Hatherly C5

 

Hatherly Building, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK

My research focuses on adaptation and acclimation in animals exposed to environmental change. Specifically I am driven by the question of how a mechanistic understanding of animal physiology can be used to improve the productivity and sustainability of aquaculture in a wide range of production settings. This also extends to understanding how aquaculture can be used to help secure future marine ecosystems in the face of climate change impacts. During my career I have developed an interdisciplinary range of expertise in animal physiology, immunology, metabolomics, developmental biology, ecotoxicology, marine chemistry, climate change ecology and aquaculture.

Broad research specialisms

Physiology, host-pathogen interactions, marine invertebrates, climate change, ocean acidification, sustainable aquaculture, aquaculture ecosystems

Qualifications

2013 PhD Ecological Physiology, University of Plymouth

2007 BSc Marine Biology, University of Plymouth

Career

2018 – Present Proleptic Lecturer, Biosciences, University of Exeter

2018 – Present NERC Industrial Innovation Fellow, University of Exeter

2015 – 2017 BBSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter

2014 – 2015 Senior Research Scientist, PML Applications, Plymouth

2012 – 2014 NERC Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Exeter

Research

Research interests

I am an integrative ecological physiologist with a keen interest in how organisms adapt to an ever changing environment, natural or man-made. In particular, I am interested in how stressors such as pollution, high pCO2 and temperature interact to affect an organism’s physiology and disease resistance. My research to date has thus focused on four main themes: 1) the impact of environmental change on early invertebrate development, 2) the trade-off between disease resistance and physiological functioning, 3) the consequences of changing seawater chemistry and increasing temperature for commercially important marine invertebrate and finfish species and 4) the optimization of intensive aquaculture practices, using organism physiology to inform system management and improve sustainability. Sitting at the juncture of two critically important but traditionally disparate fields my research therefore addresses two of the greatest challenges facing society in the 21st century.

Research projects

NERC Industrial Innovation Fellowship – ‘Flexing your mussels: Futureproofing shellfish aquaculture in the face of global climate change’,

During this project I will employ next-generation sequencing technology to develop a high-density genotyping tool (SNP array) for blue mussels, the largest aquaculture sector (36% of total volume) in the EU. By employing this technology alongside measures of whole organism physiology, I will address the overarching question does hybridisation confer an advantage to multi-stressor exposures in a commercially and globally important bivalve species? Providing a unique, industry-relevant, resource this project will also significantly advance understanding of selective breeding and enhance the sustainable development of mussel aquaculture in the 21st century. This fellowship partners with Dr Ross Houston (Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh), Dr Anne Todgham (UC Davis, California) and Dr Mauricio Urbina (University of Concepcion, Chile), as well as John Holmyard (Offshore Shellfish, Brixham) and Myles Blood-Smyth (The Exmouth Mussel Company). It will also develop new partnerships with mussel producers and academics across Europe, North America and Chile.

Research grants

2018 Natural Environment Research Council Industrial Innovation Fellowship - 'Flexing your mussels: Futureproofing shellfish aquaculture in the face of global climate change' (3.5 yrs; £531k)

2018 Royal Society Cost Share China program, partnered with Yellow Seas Fisheries Research Institute - 'Impacts of environmental factors on the growth of shrimp and virulence of important pathogens' (2 yrs; £12k)

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Ellis RP, Davison W, Queirós AM, Kroeker KJ, Calosi P, Dupont S, Spicer JI, Wilson RW, Widdicombe S, Urbina MA, et al (2017). Does sex really matter? Explaining intraspecies variation in ocean acidification responses. Biology Letters, 13(2). Abstract.  Full text.
Campbell AL, Ellis RP, Urbina MA, Mourabit S, Galloway TS, Lewis C (2017). Impacts of ocean acidification on sperm develop with exposure time for a polychaete with long lived sperm. Mar Environ Res, 129, 268-276. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellis RP, Urbina MA, Wilson RW (2017). Lessons from two high CO2 worlds – future oceans and intensive aquaculture. Global Change Biology, 23(6), 2141-2148. Abstract.  Full text.
Lewis C, Ellis RP, Vernon E, Elliot K, Newbatt S, Wilson RW (2016). Ocean acidification increases copper toxicity differentially in two key marine invertebrates with distinct acid-base responses. Sci Rep, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ellis RP, Widdicombe S, Parry H, Hutchinson TH, Spicer JI (2015). Pathogenic challenge reveals immune trade-off in mussels exposed to reduced seawater pH and increased temperature. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 462, 83-89.
Pope EC, Ellis RP, Scolamacchia M, Scolding JWS, Keay A, Chingombe P, Shields RJ, Wilcox R, Speirs DC, Wilson RW, et al (2014). European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, in a changing ocean. Biogeosciences, 11(9), 2519-2530. Abstract.
Ellis RP, Spicer JI, Byrne JJ, Sommer U, Vian MR, White DA, Widdicombe S (2014). H-1 NMR Metabolomics Reveals Contrasting Response by Male and Female Mussels Exposed to Reduced Seawater pH, Increased Temperature, and a Pathogen. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 48(12), 7044-7052. Author URL.
Asplund ME, Baden SP, Russ S, Ellis RP, Gong N, Hernroth BE (2014). Ocean acidification and host-pathogen interactions: Blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, encountering Vibrio tubiashii. Environmental Microbiology, 16(4), 1029-1039. Abstract.
Campbell AL, Mangan S, Ellis RP, Lewis C (2014). Ocean acidification increases copper toxicity to the early life history stages of the polychaete Arenicola marina in artificial seawater. Environ Sci Technol, 48(16), 9745-9753. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Callaway R, Shinn AP, Grenfell SE, Bron JE, Burnell G, Cook EJ, Crumlish M, Culloty S, Davidson K, Ellis RP, et al (2012). Review of climate change impacts on marine aquaculture in the UK and Ireland. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 22(3), 389-421.
Ellis R, Parry H, Spicer J, Hutchinson T, Pipe R, Widdicombe S (2011). Immunological function in marine invertebrates: Responses to environmental perturbation. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 30(6), 1209-1222.
Ellis R, Bersey J, Rundle S, Hall-Spencer J, Spicer J (2009). Subtle but significant effects of CO2 acidified seawater on embryos of the intertidal snail, Littorina obtusata. Aquatic Biology, 5, 41-48.

Publications by year


2017

Ellis RP, Davison W, Queirós AM, Kroeker KJ, Calosi P, Dupont S, Spicer JI, Wilson RW, Widdicombe S, Urbina MA, et al (2017). Does sex really matter? Explaining intraspecies variation in ocean acidification responses. Biology Letters, 13(2). Abstract.  Full text.
Campbell AL, Ellis RP, Urbina MA, Mourabit S, Galloway TS, Lewis C (2017). Impacts of ocean acidification on sperm develop with exposure time for a polychaete with long lived sperm. Mar Environ Res, 129, 268-276. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ellis RP, Urbina MA, Wilson RW (2017). Lessons from two high CO2 worlds – future oceans and intensive aquaculture. Global Change Biology, 23(6), 2141-2148. Abstract.  Full text.

2016

Lewis C, Ellis RP, Vernon E, Elliot K, Newbatt S, Wilson RW (2016). Ocean acidification increases copper toxicity differentially in two key marine invertebrates with distinct acid-base responses. Sci Rep, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2015

Ellis RP, Widdicombe S, Parry H, Hutchinson TH, Spicer JI (2015). Pathogenic challenge reveals immune trade-off in mussels exposed to reduced seawater pH and increased temperature. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 462, 83-89.

2014

Pope EC, Ellis RP, Scolamacchia M, Scolding JWS, Keay A, Chingombe P, Shields RJ, Wilcox R, Speirs DC, Wilson RW, et al (2014). European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, in a changing ocean. Biogeosciences, 11(9), 2519-2530. Abstract.
Ellis RP, Spicer JI, Byrne JJ, Sommer U, Vian MR, White DA, Widdicombe S (2014). H-1 NMR Metabolomics Reveals Contrasting Response by Male and Female Mussels Exposed to Reduced Seawater pH, Increased Temperature, and a Pathogen. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 48(12), 7044-7052. Author URL.
Asplund ME, Baden SP, Russ S, Ellis RP, Gong N, Hernroth BE (2014). Ocean acidification and host-pathogen interactions: Blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, encountering Vibrio tubiashii. Environmental Microbiology, 16(4), 1029-1039. Abstract.
Campbell AL, Mangan S, Ellis RP, Lewis C (2014). Ocean acidification increases copper toxicity to the early life history stages of the polychaete Arenicola marina in artificial seawater. Environ Sci Technol, 48(16), 9745-9753. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2012

Callaway R, Shinn AP, Grenfell SE, Bron JE, Burnell G, Cook EJ, Crumlish M, Culloty S, Davidson K, Ellis RP, et al (2012). Review of climate change impacts on marine aquaculture in the UK and Ireland. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 22(3), 389-421.

2011

Ellis R, Parry H, Spicer J, Hutchinson T, Pipe R, Widdicombe S (2011). Immunological function in marine invertebrates: Responses to environmental perturbation. Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 30(6), 1209-1222.

2009

Ellis R, Bersey J, Rundle S, Hall-Spencer J, Spicer J (2009). Subtle but significant effects of CO2 acidified seawater on embryos of the intertidal snail, Littorina obtusata. Aquatic Biology, 5, 41-48.

Robert_Ellis Details from cache as at 2018-09-19 00:36:08

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