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.
TRAVIS VAN LEEUWEN, POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHER
Travis is interested in the effects of individual variation in metabolism on life-history patterns and adaptive trade-offs across species. During his MSc at the University of British Columbia in Canada (2010), he studied links among life history strategies, physiology and growth in juvenile salmon. Principally, he focused on the mechanism(s) underlying adaptive trade-offs and life history strategies of juvenile steelhead and coho salmon in an attempt to explain the ecological context that underlies variation in metabolic rate within and between species. During his PhD at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (2015) he studied the physiological, morphological, behavioural and developmental differences between offspring of brown trout from alternative life histories in an attempt to better understand the causes and consequences of partial migration. In PHYSFISH, Travis will be using sensitive measures of whole animal respiration in conjunction with telemetry and lab experiments to better understand the potential links among metabolic phenotype, susceptibility to capture and fisheries-induced evolution.
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.
WASSEEM EMAM, PHD STUDENT
Wasseem is keen to find sustainable solutions to the world's overexploited fisheries. His passion for fish conservation started in 2009 during an undergraduate work placement with the Ministry of Environment in Ontario (Canada) where he was sampling freshwater fish for contaminants. Wasseem then completed an MSc in Applied Ecology (2013) at the University of East Anglia (UK). His thesis work used radio telemetry to investigate fish movements in response to fishing pressure in a satellite lake of Lake Victoria, Uganda. Since then, he has modelled fish habitat supply for the Canadian government, worked with the FAO of the United Nations (Rome and Cairo) on various fisheries projects and worked with the WorldFish Center in Egypt on improving the livelihoods of fish farmers in the Nile delta and fishermen in Lake Nasser by assessing the value chains. Through previous experience with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Cefas (UK), he has gained familiarity with the use of acoustic telemetry and data storage tags. For his PhD thesis, Wasseem will investigate temperature effects on fish survival after discard from passive and active fishing operations. This will likely consist of comparative fieldwork in temperate and sub-tropical marine environments, including in his native Egypt. Wasseem's PhD is co-funded by NSERC (Canada).
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.