I am driven by a desire to understand human impacts on the marine environment and how we might mitigate them — particularly those associated with climate change.
My PhD explored how ocean warming and acidification could alter predator-prey relationships. By focusing on coastal crustaceans, such as the common shore crab and chameleon prawn, I investigated how anti-predator defences are affected by these stressors — and the consequences for survival. Ultimately, I hope to determine what the changes to predator-prey interactions induced by climate change mean for ecosystems and their functioning.
This NERC-funded research centred on the following themes:
How does climate change affect predator-prey relationships? By transporting individuals into conditions that resemble a future ocean, we can understand how they will respond — and whether they might adapt — to climate change. I conducted a series of mesocosm experiments at Plymouth Marine Laboratory to determine how multiple stressors affect anti-predator defences and behaviour.
Can we use sensory ecology in conservation? Together with the National Lobster Hatchery, I tested how changes to the way lobsters are reared in captivity might help enhance survival in the wild.
How does camouflage affect fitness? By conducting behavioural experiments with predatory fish and chameleon prawn prey at the University of Exeter, I quantified how camouflage affects survival — and what this means for fitness in different microhabitats.
I have also conducted scoping research into sustainable fishing, in partnership with the tech start-up SafetyNet Technologies, and supported by the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Working closely with industry allowed me to help optimise devices that reduce fisheries bycatch. This short post-doc encompassed a review of relevant literature and writing software that would enable ecological approaches to be applied to tech development.