I am an algae physiologist working on the Enalgae project at Swansea University. EnAlgae brings together 19 partners and 14 observers across seven EU Member States. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions and dependency on unsustainable energy sources in North West Europe.The project is developing sustainable technologies for algal biomass production, bioenergy and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, taking them from pilot facilities through to market-place products and services.
My areas of interest include algal physiology, bioremediation, biofuel production, green house gas mitigation and rocky shore ecology. My research specialism if PAM fluorometry. Using pulses of light, important photosynthetic parameters can be analysed. Photosynthetic efficiency, electron transport rate and the light saturation index of the algal cells can be obtained using PAM fluorescence and these can help us to understand the photosynthetic processes of the cells we are growing. We can use this information to optimise photosynthesis and so optimise the growth of the cells and either increase our biomass production or increase the production of a particular high value product.

Teaching

  • BI-E00 Bioscience Industrial Placement Year

    The industrial placement year (often referred to as the Year in Industry) takes place before the final year. Only students on schemes which explicitly includes a year in industry are eligible for industrial placements. Students may enrol on programmes with an industrial placement year at the beginning of their studies, subject to appropriate enhanced entry qualifications, or may transfer to such a programme (subject to placement availability) up to the end of Level 5. Students complete a minimum of 40 weeks in a placement in companies in the UK (or potentially outside the UK).

  • BIO005 Dealing with data

    Dealing with data is crucial in all scientific studies. This module contemplates hypothesis formulation and collection of data for scientific presentation and introduces basic statistics by providing case studies which will enable developing data handling experience and improving data presentation skills. The learner will develop the confidence and tools they need to present data in an appropriate form and be able to draw meaningful conclusions.

  • BIO106 Marine and terrestrial ecology and animal behaviour

    This 20 credit module is divided into two sections and broadly introduces students to the study of animal behaviour and ecological processes in the terrestrial and marine environment. The first 15 lectures focuses on terrestrial and marine ecology, which is the study of the interactions of organisms with their environment. The topic is divided into four key themes: the individual, species interactions, communities and ecosystems and additional introduction to marine ecology The final 10 lectures focus on the evolutionary pressures that drive animal behaviour and give rise to the behavioural adaptations witnessed across the animal kingdom today, from learning and cultural transmission, to anti-predatory mechanisms and migration. The section is concluded with a lecture on human behaviour, determining how we are influenced by the same set of natural regulations that govern our wild counterparts.

  • BIO238 Marine Ecosystems: Threats and conservation

    This module introduces the students to coastal marine ecosystems and the broad ecological concepts that underpin coastal marine community structure. We then focus on the threats faced by these ecosystems from climate change and marine plastics to illegal fishing and tourism. The module then moves onto the conservation of marine ecosystems and the students will learn about the management of tropical marine protected areas (MPAs), running a conservation charity and the legislation and governance which covers both the UK and international marine ecosystems. The lectures cover the classification of marine biota and marine ecosystems and the ecology of a number of coastal marine habitats including temperate rocky, soft sediment shores, coral reefs, the deep sea and polar ecosystems. There are 3 pieces of coursework associated with this module. Two will have associated fieldtrips to Skomer Island (to observe puffin behaviour and habitat) and one to Crymlyn burrows. The third will be a talk, given to explain the key threats to their designated ecosystem studied in detail during the seminar sessions. All three rely on group collected observations and data with emphasis placed on teamwork and group cooperation.

  • BIO245 Techniques in Marine Biology

    This module introduces the students to sampling techniques used in marine biological research and commercial surveys. Students are given training and instruction on safe implementation of sampling from boat and shore. Students are given theoretical information on different sampling gears and gear selection followed by practical use of these gears on the University Research Vessel RV Noctiluca. Assessment is 100% coursework. Students are also given training in molecular/biochemical techniques commonly used in Marine Biology.

  • BIO260 Marine Biology Field Course

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing shore-based techniques to sample littoral and benthic marine habitats. Students will learn techniques for the identification of marine organisms and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data.

  • BIO327 Tropical marine ecology field course

    This field based module will provide students with an introduction to the ecology of tropical marine systems and teach students the key practical skills required by tropical marine biologists. Students will obtain training in how to design, implement and report scientifically robust marine research. The module will complement the level three marine field course and help develop key skills in field based marine biology. Students will learn skills in marine ecology and taxonomy, in-water marine sampling and surveys, and impact assessment. This module will be mostly practical based but will also include theory lectures, workshops and feedback sessions. It would be structured around seven days of directed practical activities and a three day small group based mini-project. The field course will utilise snorkeling and intertidal walking as the major means of sampling throughout directed practical¿s.

Research Groups

  • CSAR

    The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research, CSAR, is a centre of excellence founded in 2003 with support from the European Union, Welsh Government, and Swansea University. Equipped with modern, fully programmable recirculating aquaculture systems, CSAR is designed for applied research on a diverse range of aquatic organisms, from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater environments.