In 2022 I graduated from the University of Plymouth with a BSc in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology. As someone interested in community ecology, I seek to understand what factors influence the structure of ecological assemblages and employ the use of models to predict changes in their structure under our changing climate. Modelling ecological connectivity (the movement of taxa between patches of habitat) in the world’s oceans has recently become of interest to me, as this can offer insight into the processes through which marine ecological communities develop and change. This interconnectedness is scarcely investigated in the marine environment but serves as an important source of resilience for marine communities through processes such as post-disturbance recolonisation and genetic connectivity!
My undergraduate dissertation, entitled “Comparative Ecophysiology of Oniscus asellus Linnaeus within a Mosaic Hybrid Zone (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea)” explored the differing habitat associations, behavioural, and physiological traits of a hybridising species of Woodlouse in south Devon. It was a great experience and opened my eyes to the potential importance of hybridisation in maintaining invertebrate biodiversity.