I come from a behavioural ecology background, and have worked in both freshwater and marine model systems. This work has included: antipredator behavior in hermit crabs, assessing heterotrophy by inshore scleractinian corals, effects of salinity on salmon lice infectivity and antipredator behavior in freshwater gastropods.

Following completion of a PhD in behavioural ecology at the University of Plymouth I spent four years working in a neurobiology research group at the University of Calgary funded by a fellowship from Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, assessing how stress affects memory. I moved to the University of Exeter in 2012 as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow to focus on the factors that affect behavioural plasticity, particularly through memory formation, in natural populations.

I now work as a lecturer at Aberystwyth University, integrating research on individual differences in cognitive ability and responses to stress. For example is a stressed individual more or less likely to learn to recognise predator threat or food resource? And what roles does the developmental or genetic background play in this response? Part of this work also involves assessing the impact of pollutants in the aquatic environment on development, physiology and behaviour.

Experience

  • –present
    Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Exeter