I have mainly been interested in marine and freshwater biology since starting my academic career but didn’t know what I wanted to focus on. Completing my undergraduate at the University of Glasgow with the same degree title “Marine & Freshwater Biology”, I became more interested in ecology overall but had some interests in the fisheries and industry side of things. That led me to studying “Applied Marine & Fisheries Ecology” at the University of Aberdeen. During the course, I had the opportunity to work in a fish immunology lab with Dr Jason Holland, which really inspired me to take a more genetics and ecology approach to my work and has led me to where I am today! My hobbies and interests include spoiling my cat, Isaac, and more recently, getting into fly tying! When I’m not busy (or being lazy) I really enjoy going to the gym!
Oil change: Adaptation and plasticity of anemones in response to hydrocarbon pollution and climate stress
In face of climate change, the effect of stress factors on an organism and species is set to increase. With increasing pressure to cope with temperature related stress, the ability of an individual to cope and adapt to temperature will be put to the test. In the real world, organisms are exposed to many different stress factors simultaneously, which one could then expect that coping with many stressors at the same time may lead to the inability or reduced ability to cope and adapt overall. Chemical stressors are strong forms of selective pressure, having dramatic effects on organisms’ fecundity, physiology, and mortality. Using an ideal model species Actinia equina – a beadlet anemone – I aim to investigate the individual and combined effects of temperature and oil pollution; and investigating the selective effects historic oil spills on the British coastline have had on these individuals by way of epigenetics, population genomics, and expression of key genes for coping with stressors.
- To understand the effects of multiple stress factors on Actinia equina.
- To investigate the effects of historic exposure to oil on physiology.
- To investigate behavioural responses to stressors (oil and temperature).