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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: SALOA Climate change and the costs of survival in two species of marine crabs with contrasting abilities to compensate for environmental change

Currently Active: 

A NERC-funded project which will examine the combined effects of two important climate change variables: pCO2 and salinity, on the survival and performance of two species of marine brachyuran crabs with differing abilities to compensate for environmental change.

The project represents collaboration between two institutions, Bangor and Southampton. The combined expertise of the assembled research team covers the subject areas of physiology, immunology and ecology, and incorporates a range of techniques across multiple levels of biological organisation.

Our project aims to establish the mechanisms responsible for any physiological adjustments during high pCO2/low salinity exposure; examine the associated metabolic costs over time; and establish whether these costly changes compromise individual fitness and performance by affecting other energy demanding processes, leading to changes in the susceptibility to disease and changes in growth rates.


1. Examine the effects on individual metabolic status and energy budgets;
2. Characterise the physiological changes in compensatory capacities and examine their underlying mechanisms;
3. Assess the fitness consequences via changes in immune performance and growth.

Key Contacts

Prof Chris Hauton

PhDs and Other Opportunities


The edible crab (Cancer pagurus). Image courtesy of Ben Ciotti
Brown Crab
The common shore crab (Carcinus maenas). Image courtesy of Ben Ciotti
Shore Crab
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