Dr Charlotte Davies
Bluefish Scientific Officer
Room: Research Office - 006A
Ground Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

I am a Scientific Officer within the Comparative Immunology and Pathobiology group. My research focuses on diseases in marine ecosystems, which have the potential to alter ocean life, and the coastal communities that rely upon it.

I obtained my BSc in Biology and PhD at Swansea University, studying pathogens of economically important European shellfish the European lobster and brown (edible) crab. My first postdoctoral position at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology investigated the relationship between tropical habitat ecology and disease prevalence in the Caribbean spiny lobster.

My current research, through the BlueFish Project, investigates disease connectivity in the aquatic environment, including the ability to ‘track’ pathogens from the water column into the host using environmental DNA (eDNA) approaches. I want to work towards a better understanding of how anthropogenically driven stressors such as fishing, climate change and invasive species, can affect emergence, spread and connectivity of marine diseases.

Areas of Expertise

  • Diseases of aquatic animals
  • Crustaceans
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Disease Connectivity
  • eDNA


  1. Davies, C., Wootton, E. Current and emerging diseases of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus): a review Bulletin of Marine Science 94 3 959 978
  2. WOOTTON, E., POPE, E., VOGAN, C., ROBERTS, E., Davies, C., Rowley, A., McCabe, C., Pope, E. Morphology and pathology of the ectoparasitic copepod, Nicothoë astaci (‘lobster louse’) in the European lobster, Homarus gammarus Parasitology 138 10 1285 1295
  3. Davies, C., Whitten, M., Kim, A., Wootton, E., Maffeis, T., Tlusty, M., Vogan, C., Rowley, A., Walker (neeWhitten), M., McCabe, C. A comparison of the structure of American (Homarus americanus) and European (Homarus gammarus) lobster cuticle with particular reference to shell disease susceptibility Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 117 33 41
  4. Whitten, M., Davies, C., Kim, A., Tlusty, M., Wootton, E., Chistoserdov, A., Rowley, A., Walker (neeWhitten), M. Cuticles of European and American lobsters harbor diverse bacterial species and differ in disease susceptibility MicrobiologyOpen 3 3 395 409
  5. Davies, C., Thomas, G., Maffeis, T., Wootton, E., Penny, M., Rowley, A. Detailed surface morphology of the 'lobster louse' copepod, Nicothoe astaci, a haematophagous gill parasite of the European lobster, Homarus americanus Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 122 48 51

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Awards And Prizes

Date Description
2019 Florence Mockeridge Fellowship Group
2019 Florence Mockeridge Fellowship Group
2019 Welsh Crucible alumni
January 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting Early Career Scientist Travel Grant (American Geophysical Union)
March 2014 Challenger Society for Marine Science
June 2013 Climate Change Consortium of Wales
April 2013 Marine Biological Association of Great Britain
May 2014 The British Ecological Society
September 2012 The Educational Charity of John Mathews
April 2013 The Society of Biology
February 2014 The Society of Biology via the Company of Biologists

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
April 2018 Present BlueFish Scientific Officer Swansea University
February 2016 April 2018 Postdoctoral Researcher National Autonomous University of Mexico
October 2014 January 2016 Teaching Assistant Swansea University

Collaborative Partners

Partner Name Description
Dr David Bass Natural History Museum, London, and CEFAS, Weymouth (UK) - https://www.cefas.co.uk/about-us/people/dr-david-bass/
Dr Patricia Briones-Fourzán Reef Systems Unit, National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico) - https://www.icmyl.unam.mx/puerto_morelos/es/quienes_somos
Dr Enrique Lozano Álvarez Reef Systems Unit, National Autonomous University of Mexico (Mexico) - https://www.icmyl.unam.mx/puerto_morelos/puerto_morelos/e

Key Grants and Projects

  • BLUEFISH – Building resilience into blue growth of the Irish Sea: adaptation to climate change in aquaculture and fisheries. 2017 - 2020

  • An ERDF, INTERREG Ireland-Wales project, WP 4.3 Disease Connectivity 2016

  • National Autonomous University of Mexico Postdoctoral Scholarship - “Parasites and disease of the Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus): The role of habitat.” 2016 - 2018

  • CONACYT National System of Investigators economic stimulus. 2016 - 2018

  • "Health survey of Lundy Island crustaceans - Integration of scientists and fishermen.” 2016

    Jointly funded by Seafish and SUSFISH (European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-13)

  • “Importation of live lobsters into the U.K. - An assessment of disease transfer to European lobsters.” 2015

    Marine Management Organisation Fisheries Challenge Fund Grant, in collaboration with the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA

Invited Presentations, Lectures and Conferences

Date Description
May 2019 'Disease connectivity: Untangling biometric and ecological effects on parasite prevalence of crustacean species.' Natural Histor
November 2018 'Disease Connectivity: Profiling seawater, zooplankton and marine sediment microbiomes.​'
June 2017 'Parasites Affecting Caribbean Spiny Lobsters (Panulirus argus): the Role of Habitat.'
October 2016 'Parasites Affecting Caribbean Spiny Lobsters (Panulirus argus): the Role of Habitat.'
February 2016 'Density vs. disease: Crustaceans in a temperate marine protected area.'
August 2015 'Health status of the European lobster Homarus gammarus.'
October 2014 'Shell disease: An overview.'
May 2014 ‘Does the importation of live American lobster (Homarus americanus) pose a threat to native European (H. gammarus) populations?
May 2013 'Epizootic shell disease: a threat to the European lobster Homarus gammarus?'
September 2012 'Health status of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) with particular reference to epizootic shell disease.'
May 2012 'Epizootic Shell Disease: A threat to the European lobster?'
2012 'Diseases of the large-clawed lobsters Homaridae.'
2012 'The health status of the European lobster Homarus gammarus.'

Public Engagements

  • Contributor to The Conversation
  • “Is climate change making our oceans sick?” Super Science Sunday, March 2019
  • “Is climate change making our oceans sick?” Swansea Science Festival, November 2018

Academic History

Date Qualification Location
January 2015 PhD Biological Sciences Swansea University
2011 BSc Biology (1st Class, Hons) Swansea University

Research Groups

  • Comparative Immunology and Pathobiology Lab

    Our mission is to unravel the biological mechanisms that enable invertebrates (e.g., crustaceans and insects) to combat disease-causing agents and tolerate environmental disturbances. Our research can be categorised broadly into two main areas, (1) immunobiology and pathobiology of commercially important shellfish and (2) prospecting insect larvae as alternative models of disease. https://www.swansea.ac.uk/bioscience/research-and-impact/comparative-immunology-and-pathobiology-lab/