About Me

My research explores the interactions of food (prey) quality and quantity on consumer dynamics and thence on trophic dynamics (stoichiometric ecology) and biogeochemistry. Targets for this work are primarily planktonic and microbial systems, with recent emphasis upon mixotrophic plankton and variations in predation rates with prey size, abundance and nutritional quality. Applied aspects include optimisation of algal biomass production in the presence of zooplanktonic pests, and microbial activity in wetlands. The tools for research are primarily dynamic adaptive multi-nutrient (variable stoichiometry) models. I am currently involved in various EU, RCUK and Welsh funded projects investigating a variety of issues ranging from sustainable use of water to the impact of human behaviour on the global oceans. I have also experienced life on the other side of research as Managing Editor of the Journal of Plankton Research (a peer-reviewed scientific journal publication from Oxford University Press), a climate research consultant for the Welsh Local Government Association, and as Biodiversity Officer for Bridgend County Borough Council.

Areas of Expertise

  • Systems Dynamics Modeller
  • PhD Zooplankton Growth Dynamics; A Modelling Study (SAMS/Open University, UK)
  • MSc Ecosystems Analysis & Governance (Warwick; UK)
  • BSc (Hons) Botany (Presidency, India)

Publications

  1. et. al. Defining Planktonic Protist Functional Groups on Mechanisms for Energy and Nutrient Acquisition: Incorporation of Diverse Mixotrophic Strategies. Protist 167(2), 106-120.
  2. & The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump. Biogeosciences 11(4), 995-1005.
  3. & Bridging the gap between marine biogeochemical and fisheries sciences; configuring the zooplankton link. Progress in Oceanography 129, 176-199.
  4. & Decrease in diatom palatability contributes to bloom formation in the Western English Channel. Progress in Oceanography 137, 484-497.
  5. Ocean acidification with (de)eutrophication will alter future phytoplankton growth and succession. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282(1804), 20142604-20142604.
  6. & Impact of zooplankton food selectivity on plankton dynamics and nutrient cycling. Journal of Plankton Research 37(3), 519-529.
  7. Acclimation, adaptation, traits and trade-offs in plankton functional type models: reconciling terminology for biology and modelling. Journal of Plankton Research 37(4), 683-691.
  8. & Prymnesium parvum invasion success into coastal bays of the Gulf of Mexico: Galveston Bay case study. Harmful Algae 43, 31-45.
  9. et. al. Mechanisms of microbial carbon sequestration in the ocean – future research directions. Biogeosciences 11(19), 5285-5306.
  10. & Introduction to the BASIN Special Issue: State of art, past present a view to the future. Progress in Oceanography 129, 171-175.
  11. Sensitivity of secondary production and export flux to choice of trophic transfer formulation in marine ecosystem models. Journal of Marine Systems 125, 41-53.
  12. Monster potential meets potential monster: pros and cons of deploying genetically modified microalgae for biofuels production. Interface Focus 3(1), 20120037-20120037.
  13. Towards an adaptive model for simulating growth of marine mesozooplankton: A macromolecular perspective. Ecological Modelling 225, 1-18.
  14. & Modelling mixotrophy in harmful algal blooms: More or less the sum of the parts?. Journal of Marine Systems 83(3-4), 158-169.
  15. Defining the “to” in end-to-end models. Progress in Oceanography 84(1-2), 39-42.
  16. Dysfunctionality in ecosystem models: An underrated pitfall?. Progress in Oceanography 84(1-2), 66-68.
  17. Are closure terms appropriate or necessary descriptors of zooplankton loss in nutrient–phytoplankton–zooplankton type models?. Ecological Modelling 220(5), 611-620.
  18. Building the "perfect beast": modelling mixotrophic plankton. Journal of Plankton Research 31(9), 965-992.
  19. Importance of Interactions between Food Quality, Quantity, and Gut Transit Time on Consumer Feeding, Growth, and Trophic Dynamics. The American Naturalist 169(5), 632-646.
  20. Accounting for grazing dynamics in nitrogen-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) models. Limnology and Oceanography 52(2), 649-661.
  21. Accounting for variation in prey selectivity by zooplankton. Ecological Modelling 199(1), 82-92.
  22. Promotion of harmful algal blooms by zooplankton predatory activity. Biology Letters 2(2), 194-197.
  23. A multi-nutrient model for the description of stoichiometric modulation of predation in micro- and mesozooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research 28(6), 597-611.
  24. & Predator-prey interactions: is 'ecological stoichiometry' sufficient when good food goes bad?. Journal of Plankton Research 27(5), 393-399.
  25. The influence of changes in predation rates on marine microbial predator/prey interactions: a modelling study. Acta Oecologica 24, S359-S367.

Teaching

  • BIO250 Introduction to field ecology

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (woodlands, grasslands, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and the indicator species associated with them.

  • BIO332 Ecology and Physiology of Crop Plants

    This module will provide an understanding of the physiological processes central to plant growth and development and how these processes along with ecology impact on plants in agriculture. An overview of emergent topics in agronomy such as GM crops, impact of climate change on agricultural crops, importance of crops for food security will be presented.

Supervision

  • Accounting for mixotrophy in marine microbial food webs: investigating the new paradigm for marine ecology. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Kevin Flynn