Tremough House MG18
Tremough House, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK
My goal is to find out how climate change is impacting not just individual marine species, but the relationships between them. As a member of the Sensory Ecology and Evolution group, and in collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory, I’m studying intertidal animals to find out how their camouflage and, in turn, their predation will be affected by changing ocean properties.
Driven by curiosity, my academic background crosses the borders of marine ecology, geoscience and environmental management, but I’ve had the opportunity to explore other fields too and prior to my PhD I worked in the publishing and science communication sectors. As well as having a love of science, I also love to share it, spending my spare time writing about marine biology and taking any opportunity to engage the public at large.
Broad research specialisms:
- Marine ecology
- Climate change
- Sensory ecology
MSc Marine Ecology and Environmental Management – Queen Mary, University of London
MSci Environmental Geoscience – University of Bristol
Project Title: Impact of climate change on intertidal species, camouflage and predation
Funding Body: NERC
Predator-prey relationships are major force shaping marine ecosystems, so finding out how they will be affected by changes in ocean properties (warming, acidification and hypoxia) is key to finding out how these ecosystems will respond to climate change. Camouflage is one of the most widespread ways of avoiding predators, but stress – such as that caused by climate change – can have a major influence on animal colour.
To see how this stress will affect animal camouflage, I’m conducting experiments in which seawater temperature, carbon dioxide and oxygen are varied in the lab. By placing crabs and fish on different backgrounds, varying water properties and taking photos to assess their colouration, I can model the effect of climate change on their predation.