2016: PhD researcher, Ecology of Vision Lab, University of Bristol
2015 – 2016: Team Leader, (South Legionella Team) at ESG UK Ltd
2012 – 2015: Consultant at Assurity Consulting Ltd.
2007-2011: MSci Marine Biology, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre
I am newest to the team and have begun an exciting PhD project in crustacean vision this year, supervised by Martin How and Nick Roberts. My study will investigate the adaptations within the compound eyes of crustaceans such as the Fiddler crab, to rapidly changing light environments. These crabs are of particular interest due to their panoramic field of view, ability to see and use polarised light and their frequent movements in and out of brightly lit environments. I plan to use a variety of techniques during the project, such as anatomical study of eyes using microscopy to measuring the electrical activities of cells within the eye. I will also link this to behavioural study of live animals, both in laboratory experiments and in their natural habitats.
Previous to this, I studied MSci Marine Biology at the University of Southampton, where I quickly picked up a particular interest in invertebrate sensory biology. During the 3rd year of my MSci course I worked on a novel project investigating the unknown function of cyan fluorescent proteins in corals. During my Master’s year, I analysed raw video and photography data from a ROV used to survey the Whittard deep-sea canyon for the first time. Many of the species I identified were new discoveries and there were even some colourful deep-sea corals among them.
Between my MSci course and starting my PhD I decided to take a few years out to work in industry. I worked at two environmental consultancies in that time, first as a Consultant and then as a Team Leader, specialising in control of Legionella species in water.
Crustacean vision: adaptable eyes for extreme changes in light