Research

My current research, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, focuses on the causes and consequences of cognitive differences among populations, using the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, as a model species. I also have interests in cognitive syndromes, whether the ability to perceive, learn and remember aspects of the environment differs in a consistent manner among individuals. I use all life stages in my work, from embryos to adults, and future work will allow me to include individuals throughout their lifetime to determine factors influencing plasticity and fitness.

Another area of interest for me is ‘Antipredator behaviour’: a topic I have worked on in a range of freshwater and marine invertebrates. My interests cover the different cues and modes of perception different species use in determining predation threat. This is closely linked to interests I have in learning and memory, in determining how experience alters predator perception.

Ecotoxicology: A growing area of interest on aquatic research it explores the non-lethal effect of environmental pollutants. I have recently supervised student projects assessing the effects of metal and pharmaceutical pollutants on development and behaviour of aquatic organisms (freshwater and marine). Currently, I am also developing ways to assess the physiological and behavioural impact of microplastics on freshwater invertebrates.