Rupert is postdoctoral researcher working on our NERC-funded SeaDNA project. His work is aiming to provide a firm foundation on which to base the application of eDNA approches for marine monitoring, through experiments to measure the rate of eDNA loss in marine systems, to the validation of eDNA approaches using traditional marine survey data. Rupert is enthusiastic about fish and Linux, and prior to coming to Bristol worked in the Amazon.
Jennifer is studying for a PhD on the evolutionary ecology of myctophid fishes. These fishes are among the most abundant vertebrates on earth, are vitally important members of open ocean food webs, and are also extraordinarily species rich for a family of marine fishes (250+ species). Jennifer is studying them with a view to understanding the mechanisms that have promoted their diversification, and also how their distributions may be affected by future climatic change. She is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, and also supervised by Geraint Tarling (BAS), Julian Partridge (University of Western Australia) and Martin Collins (Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands)
Louise is studying for a PhD studying the effects of climate change on European marine fishes. She is using long-term fisheries survey data and historic otolith collections to examine how changes in abundance and growth are associated with climatic variables. She is also using models to predict how future climatic changes may influence species in the region. She is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, and also supervised by Steve Simpson (Exeter), Simon Jennings (CEFAS) and Ewan Hunter (CEFAS).
Carlos is studying for a PhD on the effects of invasive Nile tilapia on indigenous fish faunas. He is working on methods to detect the presence of the invader using environmental DNA, and is testing for the ecological effects. His work is focussed on Mexico and Tanzania, and he is funded by CONACYT ( Mexico National Council of Science and Technology). He is also supervised by Christos Ioannou (Bristol).
Asilatu is studying for a PhD at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. She is working on the biodiversity of tilapiine cichlids of the genus Oreochromis in Tanzania, and specifically how they are threatened by introductions of non-native Oreochromis such as the Nile tilapia. She is funded by a Royal Society Africa Award, and also supervised by Rashid Tamatamah (TAFIRI / University of Dar-es-Salaam) and Ben Ngatunga (TAFIRI). Before this, she completed a Masters degree on Oreochromis, studying at the University of Bristol and Bangor University.
Hind is studying for a PhD aimed to developing environmental DNA-based tools to identify and quantify trematode parasites in freshwaters (e.g. left), focussing on schistosomes in Africa. This work should help to identify the position of schistosomes and their hosts in ecological networks, enable the development of models of infection risk, and help with the implementation of measures to reduce exposure risk to human populations in developing countries. Hind is also supervised by Eric Morgan (Belfast and Bristol).
Katherine is studying for a PhD on the interactions between climate change, marine fishes and fishing communities. Her work focusses on the south-west of England. She is constructing statistical models to understand the effects of temperature and other environmental variables on fish abundance, and using future climate projections to evaluate which species future fisheries may be based on. She is using future environmental scenarios may affect the regional fishing industry using socio-economic approaches. Katherine is funded by the by the Natural Environment Research Council, is registered at the University of Exeter, and is also supervised by Steve Simpson (Exeter) and Simon Jennings (CEFAS / ICES).
Tracey is studying for a PhD on the ecology of Southern Ocean Mesopelagic fish. She is based at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, and is registered in Bristol. She is primarily supervised by Sophie Fielding and Ryan Saunders at BAS. She is funded by the NERC through the GW4+ programme.
Tabitha is studying for a Masters by Research, on tilapiine cichlids of Tanzania. She is focussing her research on newly discovered populations of Oreochromis korogwe from near Lindi in the south of the country. She is investigating how distinct these populations are relative to the previously known population from the north, and she is investigating if these populations have hybridized with invasive Nile tilapia. Her research has been partly supported by a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Africa Award.
Alan Hudson (Marie Curie Fellow, 2015-2017)
Alan worked in the lab as Marie-Curie fellow, focussing on the role of epigenetic divergence in the evolution of a pair of cichlid ecomorphs in Lake Massoko in southern Tanzania. He was also supervised by Simon Hiscock (formely Bristol, now Oxford) and collaborated on this work with George Turner (Bangor). He previously worked on the evolution of coregonid fishes in Switzerland and Sweden.
Stephanie Bradbeer (completed 2016)
Steph studied for a Masters by Research in Bristol. Her project aimed to quantify the extent of hybridization among indigenous and invasive tilapiine cichlids in northern Tanzania. Before coming to Bristol, she was an undergraduate student at Exeter, and has apparently spent time in Montana, but she doesn't like to talk about it. Her research was been partly supported by a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Africa Award. She has now started a PhD at Leeds, studying aquatic invasive species in the UK.
Harold Sungani (Completed 2015)
Harold studied for a PhD on the conservation genetics of endemic migratory cyprinids of the Lake Malawi catchment. These species of the genus Opsaridium migrate into rivers each rainy season to spawn, and thus are analogous in their behaviour to salmonids. Harold used field surveys and molecular markers to test for natal homing, information which should help in their conservation. He was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission. Harold now works for Department of Fisheries In Malawi.
Paul Parsons (completed 2014)
Cichlid fishes have undergone extensive speciation and ecomorphological radiation in African lakes, but not in rivers. However, the reasons for this have never been tested. It is possible that unpredictable environments, such as African rivers, result in selection for life history traits that constrain evolutionary divergence. Paul tested this idea using a combination of population genetics, morphometrics, dietary studies and laboratory common garden experiments. His PhD was funded by a NERC-CASE studentship, and also supervised by Jon Bridle (Bristol) and Lukas Rüber (Natural History Museum, Bern). Paul now works at the University of Exeter.
Kai Winkelmann (completed 2013)
Kai worked on ecological speciation in the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika for his PhD. He focussed on an enigmatic species Telmatochromis temporalis that has two morphs, a "normal" morph found on rocks, and a "dwarf" morph found on shells. These are genetically distinct. Kai used population genetic and phylogenetic approaches to study their evolutionary history, and behavioural experiments to test mechanisms of reproductive isolation. His PhD was funded by a Natural History Museum scholarship, and was also supervised by and Lukas Rüber (Natural History Museum, Bern).