Dr Robert Ellis
Lecturer and NERC Industrial Innovation Fellow – Sustainable Aquaculture
+44 (0)1392 726958
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
2013 PhD Ecological Physiology, University of Plymouth
2007 BSc Marine Biology, University of Plymouth
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 group links
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.
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.
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)
Publications by category
Publications by year
Robert_Ellis Details from cache as at 2021-10-22 07:58:09