I am a marine biologist researching the ecology and evolution of marine benthic invertebrates and their associated microbes. I often use molecular biology tools to understand how these organisms interact and respond to environmental change and anthropocentric pressures. My current research is focused on the sustainable restoration and ecological function of the native oyster Ostrea edulis in the Solent, UK. I am based at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Portsmouth.
I studied Biology at Sussex University (1993-1996) followed by an MSc (Heriot-Watt University) at the Orkney based International Centre for Island Technology of Heriot-Watt University (1997-1998). Followed by a NERC funded PhD (University of Southampton) on the evolutionary history of the Topshell Osilinus (now Phorcus, Donald et al. 2012) in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. I went on to a post-doctoral research position at the Marine Biological Association of the UK working on a European project investigating anthropogenic impacts on European Genetic Marine Biodiversity (EUMAR) 2002-2005. After a career break to have children I returned science as a Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth on a molecular and microbial ecology research project to investigate sulfur and iron cycling in timbers of the Mary Rose Tudor Warship (2010-2012). After another short career break I returned to a part-time lecturer position in Marine Biology in 2014, and became principal lecturer and Marine Biology BSc Course leader in 2016.
I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Marine Biological Association.