SHAUN KILLEN, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Shaun is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, in the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. He is interested in the physiological and behavioural ecology of animals and especially how energetic demand influences trade-offs involved with foraging and predator-avoidance behaviour. During his PhD at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada (2007), he studied how metabolic traits interact with behaviour throughout early development in larval marine fishes. Most recently, he has focused on how environmental change affects relationships between behavioural and physiological traits in an ecological context. Killen has also examined the physiological effects of catch-and-release angling in fishes. In PHYSFISH, this line line of inquiry into physiology and mechanics of fish capture is being extended to the study of mechanisms underlying fisheries-induced evolution. Find out more about his research here.
Barbara’s research broadly encompasses fish and fisheries ecology, with a particular interest in behavioural and spatial ecology. During her PhD at the University of Perpignan she worked on the effect of habitat modification on fish and fish communities. She also examined structural and functional connectivity of fish populations, linking individual movement patterns with seascape properties and life-history strategies, and modeling larval dispersal to predict priority conservation areas. More recently, during her post-doc at the University of Gothenburg, she studied behavioural mechanisms and responses of fish to human-induced disturbances, such as predation by recreational fishing. In her current work as part of the PHYSFISH project, Barbara will continue this line of research investigating the linkages between individual variability of phenotypic traits, vulnerability to capture and post-release mortality (discards).
Amélie’s research aims to understand phenotypic evolution at different time scales. She is interested in environmental (phenotypic plasticity), trans-generational (epigenetics) and genetic (evolution) effects in the adaptive response of fish to environmental disturbance. During her PhD at the University du Québec à Rimouski in Canada, she studied the evolutionary capacity (genetic and environmental components of phenotypes) of different populations. Most recently, she has studied human environmental disturbances, including how ocean acidification, hypoxia or pollutants may affect fish phenotypes across generations. Her current research – funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship – mainly focused on the fisheries-induced evolution, specifically, how fisheries selection or change in population density may impact the phenotype, evolutionary capacity, and the genome of fish populations across generations.
ANITA RÁCZ, TECHNICIAN
Anita earned an MSc in Biology (2010) from Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary, specializing in Ecology-Evolutionary Biology and Systematics. She has always been interested in marine biology, conservation biology, aquatic ecology and especially fish behavioural ecology. She has previously worked in a public aquarium while also studying the parental and territorial behaviour of the Ocellaris clownfish. More recently she has worked as a zebrafish technician at the University of Burgundy and Vesalius Research Center, Belgium. She was also as a professional swimmer and sport diver for 8 years, and was Junior European champion in underwater orienteering.
DAVIDE THAMBITHURAI, PHD STUDENT
Davide is interested in the behavioural ecology of fish, particularly how anthropogenic impacts affect fish behaviour and population dynamics in a conservation context. He is also a keen fish taxonomist, specialising in the identification of egg and larvae from the North Atlantic. He did his Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Southampton University and then worked for a fisheries engineering consultancy undertaking a broad range of research including behavioural fish experiments, acoustic and radio telemetry tracking programmes, large scale fisheries surveys and fish habitat assessments. His PhD thesis will focus on how selectivity in commercial fisheries has the potential to impact physiological traits in fish populations. To achieve this he will undertake laboratory work on selection lines of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a surrogate for wild fish, analysing potential changes in physiological characteristics across generations between lines of fish with differing vulnerabilities to simulated fishing practices.
JACK HOLLINS, PHD STUDENT
Jack`s research interests lie in how physiological processes ultimately manifest in patterns of behaviour and movement, and how these processes effect the severity of anthropogenic impacts on marine species. He completed his MSci in 2013, and subsequently began work for an independent research company in South Africa. Here, he conducted field research on the spatial ecology, residency patterns and behaviour of shark species along the South African coast, using a combination of photo ID, acoustic telemetry, and mark-recapture techniques. This work extended to investigating impact of recreational fisheries interactions on small shark species, monitoring stress responses from the physiological to behavioural level using blood chemistry and accelerometry. His PhD thesis will investigate how physiology in wild fish influence patterns of habitat use and behaviour, and how these patterns influence susceptibility to capture in commercial fisheries.