I am a molecular ecologist and my research focuses on genetics and diseases in marine ecosystems, which have the potential to alter ocean life, and the coastal communities that rely upon it. I am currently Fisheries Research Officer for a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, 'Atlantic Herring Studies in the Bristol Channel and Wales'. Previously, I worked on SEACAMS2 across several projects including herring stock assessments and sea trout tagging, alongside industrial partners such as Pembrokeshire Power Station, RWE and Frog Environmental. Previously I was a Scientific Officer within the Comparative Immunology and Pathobiology group working on the BlueFish project, investigating disease connectivity in the aquatic environment, including the ability to ‘track’ pathogens from the water column into the host using environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches.
I obtained my BSc in Biology and PhD at Swansea University, studying pathogens of economically important European shellfish, the European lobster and brown (edible) crab. My first postdoctoral position at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology investigated the relationship between tropical habitat ecology and disease prevalence in the Caribbean spiny lobster.
I want to work towards a better understanding of how anthropogenically driven stressors such as fishing, climate change and invasive species, can affect emergence, spread and connectivity of marine diseases.