I am a lecturer in Marine Biology and Ecology within Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, based at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton.
My research uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand how the behaviour and physiology of marine organisms interact to create the complex interactions that we see in the underwater world.
Animal behaviour and physiology are inextricably linked and mutually enriching fields of study. To understand why animals behave the way that they do, we must learn more about the physiological mechanisms driving observed behavioural traits. This endeavour necessitates employing recent technological advances typically attributed to a range of disciplines beyond biology.
Fundamentally, my goal is to better understand why animals behave the way that they do and what physiological traits drive these observed behaviours. To that end, my research examines both the animal itself as well as the environment that the animal lives in. We are still very much learning how behavioural and physiological traits are connected, and to what degree these connections drive individual variation within and among species, ecosystems, and populations. As an experimental biologist, my job frequently entails thinking outside of the box to devise new and innovative ways to measure an animal’s characteristics in as realistic a setting as possible. Over the years, this research program has required building a whole range of gadgets and learning tons of skills not typically attributed to marine science.