Research Assistant, University of Glasgow

My research interests include physiology in marine invertebrates in response to environmental variability, this can be natural and anthropogenic, in particular the impact of ocean acidification. Ocean acidification has resulted from an anthropogenic increase in CO2 causing a decline in pH of 0.1 since the industrial revolution. This is further predicted to decline by 0.4 pH units by the year 2100. I am currently working on the Leverhulme funded project 'Biomineralisation: protein and mineral response to ocean acidification'. Biomineralisation is the process through which organisms produce minerals to harden their exoskeletons. Biogenic calcium carbonate in the two major polymorph forms of calcite and aragonite are utilised in the marine environment by organisms such as coccoliths, corals and molluscs. Decreases in the abundance of carbonate is driven by the declining pH which reduces the calcium carbonate saturation state (Ω). Concerns that geochemically carbonate concentrations will decline at the sea surface threatens marine biogenic growth, however living organisms also control the production of biominerals through proteins expressed for growth. Biological stress caused by increasing ocean acidification may also attribute to altered expression of the biomineralising proteins. It is therefore vital to examine combined impact of ocean acidification on biomineralisation, geochemical and biological controls.

Experience

  • –present
    Research Assistant, University of Glasgow