In 2012, I started as Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology/Parasitology at Edinburgh Napier University and in 2018 I was awarded the title of Associate Professor. I'm broadly interested in parasites and in particular parasites of marine organisms including a whole range of invertebrates and fishes. My research approach involves traditional morphological and modern molecular techniques to understand the biodiversity, ecology and evolutionary history of parasitic organisms. Since I was a postdoc, a large part of my research focuses on the morphology, molecular phylogeny and evolution of gregarine apicomplexans and other protozoan parasites in marine/terrestrial invertebrates. At the moment I am starting to look into the utilization of gregarines as model organisms and also the role and impact of micro-eukaryotes and metazoan parasites in food webs.
- Teaching activities:
Module Leader for Life on Earth ENV07100 (since 2014), 1st year module with ~140 students
Module Leader for Practical Skills in Biodiversity and Ecology ENV08108 (since 2018), 2nd year module with ~70 students
Teaching on several modules including:
Genes & Inheritance BMS08103
Marine Biology ENV09104
Ecological Field Studies ENV09107
Conservation Biology ENV09109
Fisheries Biology ENV10101
Scientific Methods ENV11109
Current Topics in Ecology ENV10108
Professional Practice BMS10107
- Postgraduate supervision/co-supervision (ongoing)
Kevin McKinley (PhD candidate since 2020) Developing gregarine apicomplexans as aquatic symbiosis model system. Edinburgh Napier University. Co-supervision with N. Wheelhouse (ENU) & A. Tsaousis (University of Kent)
Anna-Lotta Hiillos (PhD candidate since 2018) Microbiome-host interactions and developmental polymorphism. University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Co-supervision with E. Knott
Ian Martin (PhD candidate since 2013) Ecology, morphology and population structure of the mahseer, Tor putitora (Cyprinidae), in the Mahakali river, Western Nepal. Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Co-supervision with R. Briers (DoS)
- Postgraduate supervision/co-supervision (completed)
Matthew Dicker (MRes completed in October 2020) The hidden links in trophic food webs: where do the parasites fit? Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Co-supervision with M. Huxham
Caroline Wanjiru (PhD completed in June 2020) Exploring the fish community in a mangrove forest in Kenya utilizing different methods. Edinburgh Napier University, UK, based in Kenya. Co-supervision with M. Huxham (DoS)
Alexander J. Kent (PhD completed in Oct 2018) Exploring the Causes of Red Vent Syndrome in wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from Coastal Waters around Scotland. Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Co-supervision with R. Briers & K. Diele, ENU; C. Pert (External Supervisor, Marine Scotland Science, UK)
Jenny McLeish (PhD completed in Feb 2018) Non-native Bullhead in South-East Scotland: Molecular and morphological identification and parasite links with native fauna. Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Co-supervision with R. Briers
Natasha Nicholson (MSc complete in 2013) An investigation into the tolerance of Macrobiotus dispar and Hypsibius dujardini to biotic and xenobiotic heavy metals, and possible adaptive strategies to chemotoxic stress. Edinburgh Napier University, UK. Co-supervision with L. Gilpin (DoS)
- Undergraduate BSc project students
Simona Blaze (2020): Internal parasites of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in urban and rural sites in Scotland: Prevalence, richness, and composition
Jack Colombo (2020): Combined toxic effects of e-liquid base components and flavour concentrates on environmental bioindicator Daphnia pulex.
Ellen Welsh (2020): Comparative study of the effectiveness of creel design commonly used in Scottish east coast creel fishing industry.
Niall Browne (2019): Investigating the parasite fauna of hatchery and wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from the North East of Scotland, focusing on Anisakidae (Nematoda) larvae.
Micha-Lukas Gaub (2019): Diet composition, parasite infection, and health conditions of two juvenile fish from Vanga Mangrove Kenya.
Freya Gruber (2019): A bioassay determining the toxicity of e-liquid on the environment using Daphnia pulex.
James Kean (2018): Determining the toxicity of popular e-liquid flavours through acute exposer to freshwater species, Bithynia tentaculata.
Lauren Hart (2018): An exploration into the levels of parasitic infection in haddock from the North Sea and a comparison to the West Coast of Scotland.
Robyn Farquhar (2018): Parasite fauna present in Perca fluviatilis from Loch Ore, Fife and a comparison of the abundance of parasite species between hosts of different size classes.
Valeria Macchia (2018): Development of a conventional PCR and TaqMan quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting a conservative region of lumpfish Ranavirus.
Emma Vincent-Cuaz (2017): A comparative study on the parasite fauna of Perca fluviatilis of Loch Ore (Scotland) and Lough Neagh (Northern Ireland).
Scott Taylor (2017): Comparison of health indices and parasitic fauna present in the two spawning populations of Scomber scombrus found in Scottish waters.
Jamie Bruce (2016): Analysing C. harengus from two sites to investigate, if parasites can be used as biological tags.
Remy Bailly (2016): Acute toxicity of an anti-parasitic veterinary drug on faucet snails (Bithynia tentaculata).
Shauna Baxter (2016): Using parasites found in Sprattus sprattus as biological indicators to compare environmental conditions of two sites located on the East and West Coast of Scotland: The North Sea and the North-East Atlantic.
George Race (2016): The individual and synergistic acute effects of zinc pyrithione and copper on the freshwater gastropod Bithynia tentaculata.
Delli Woodhead (2016): Parasite fauna of European perch, Perca fluviatilis in Lake Windermere, England and Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland.
Liam Scotcher (2015): Differences in the parasite fauna in Perca fluviatilis from two different locations and the possible use to determine ecosystem health.
Amy Ashe (2014): A comparison of the parasite fauna of common dab (Limanda limanda) from the Clyde Estuary and the North Sea.
- International placement students
Catiá Alves (2019 IAESTE) worked with myself and in collaboration with St Abbs Marine Station on different projects.
Jelena Knežević (2018 IAESTE) worked with myself and Dr Karen Diele on molecular identification of developmental stages of squid.
Anja Alvestadt (2016 IAESTE) worked with former and current PhD students on parasites of invertebrates and nematodes of salmon.
Reeson Wong (2015 IAESTE) worked with former PhD student on invertebrate parasite and with myself on deep sea parasites.
Bonnie Bailet (2012 Université Aix Marseille work placement) worked with myself on gregarines infecting polychaetes.