Dr Ceri Lewis conducting microscope work

Dr Ceri Lewis conducting microscope work

Ceri Lewis in the Arctic as part of the Caitlin Arctic Survey

Ceri Lewis in the Arctic as part of the Caitlin Arctic Survey

Dr Ceri Lewis
Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology

Research

Research interests

My over-riding research interests lie in understanding how marine invertebrates adapt and survive in a changing and increasingly polluted marine environment, and the potential impacts of environmental change on their reproduction, larval ecology and life history evolution. My current research focuses on 2 main areas; 1) the interactions between chronic pollution and ocean acidification on fitness parameters in adult and larval marine invertebrates; 2) the potential for environmental disruption of sperm function in broadcast spawning invertebrates and its ecological consequences. I am also a key member of an international team of biologists and oceanographers conducting ocean acidification research in the Canadian High Arctic as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, joining their expeditions in 2010 and 2011.

Research projects

NERC UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme
I am part of a consortium involving researchers from Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratories, Swansea University and Strathclyde University working towards on ocean acidification effects on commercially important species for the UK-OARP.  This project aims to improve our understanding of the potential population, community and ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification for all life stages for commercially important species and their capacity to resist and adapt.

For more information see: www.oceanacidification.org.uk.

EU CLEANSEA: Towards a Clean, Litter -Free European Marine Environment through Scientific Evidence, Innovative Tools and Good Governance.

Previous research

NERC Fellowship: Broadcast spawning into a changing marine environment: are sperm the weak link in a marine invertebrate’s life cycle?
My current research focuses on the susceptibility of marine invertebrate sperm to environmental disruption. Sperm are generally thought to lack anti-oxidant defence and DNA repair enzymes which potentially makes them highly susceptibility to environmental damage. My work aims to determine the impacts of ocean acidification and increasing pollution on sperm functioning and fertilization processes and to determine the consequences of any loss of function on fertilization dynamics and subsequent offspring fitness in free spawning marine invertebrates.

Catlin Arctic Survey
I am a key member of an international team of biologists, oceanographers and climate scientists conducting climate change research in the Canadian High Arctic as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey. My role in these expeditions is to study the composition of the zooplankton under the ice, relating this to the carbon chemistry and nutrients in the Arctic seawater during the winter-spring transition period, and to conduct ocean acidification experiments to determine how vulnerable these zooplankton species are to the IPCC predicted changes in this ocean chemistry.

For more information see: www.catlinarcticsurvey.com.

Research Grants:

  • NERC Ocean Acidification Directed Consortium Grant: ‘Improved understanding of population, community and ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification for commercially important species’.
  • Royal Society Small Research Grant, ‘Environmental Disruption of Sperm Function in Marine Invertebrates and the Potential for Pre-adaptation to High CO2’.
  • Exeter University Internal Funding through a Research and Knowledge Transfer Link Fund for participation in the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010.
  • NERC Independent Postdoctoral Fellowship. ‘Broadcast spawning into a changing marine environment: are sperm the weak link in a marine invertebrate’s life cycle?’
  • Marine and Coastal Management Department (South African Government) Frontier Programme and industry funding for a two year project run through the International Ocean Institute-SA ‘Sustainable aquaculture in Southern Africa’ 2006-2008.

Research networks

  • Dr Helen Findlay, Plymouth Marine Laboratories
  • Dr Gary Caldwell, Newcastle University
  • Dr Gordon Watson, Portsmouth University
  • Dr Alex Ford, Portsmouth University

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