1997 Merit Researcher (Deputy Chief Scientific Officer),
1996 Visiting Professor to Queen Mary College, University of London
1991 - 1997 Senior Principal Scientific Officer, NHM.
1980 - 1991 Principal Scientific Officer, BM(NH).
1976 - 1980 Senior Scientific Officer, BM(NH).
1974 - 1976 Higher Scientific Officer, British Museum (Natural History).
1974 PhD, University of Leeds (NERC Research Studentship)
1971 BSc, Zoology, University of Leeds
I specialise in working on copepod crustaceans - one of the most abundant groups of metazoans on Earth which can be found in virtually every kind of aquatic habitat, from the deepest ocean trenches to damp leaf litter at high altitude in the Himalayas, and from hot springs to polar seas. Some copepods feed by capturing small particles, others by grazing on bacteria and algae, or by scraping surface films, and nearly half of all copepods live as parasites or symbionts on other aquatic organisms. My research is aimed at unravelling the complex and fascinating evolutionary history of copepods and their relatives.
Project: Co-evolution of parasitic copepods and their hosts.
External collaborators: J-L Justine (IRD, New Caledonia), S Ohtsuka (University of Hiroshima, Japan), J Caira (University of Connecticut, USA), A Sikorski (Akvaplan, Norway), M. Sheader (University of Southampton), Myles O’Reilly (SEPA, Scotland), H. El-Rashidy (Alexandria University, Egypt).
Copepods are parasitic on almost every phylum from sponges to chordates including mammals. I am particularly interested in the host-parasite relationships of key fish parasites such as the sea-lice (Caligidae), which are the biggest health hazard for commercially farmed fin-fish worldwide, but I also am working on the astonishing diversity of parasites of marine polychaete hosts. With Japanese colleagues we have just finished a study of the life cycle of Pseudocaligus fugu, a parasite of puffer fish, which challenges the accepted wisdom concerning the number of life cycle stages in the Caligidae. With an Egyptian colleague we have also just reported three species of parasitic copepod on clupeid hosts, which have entered the eastern Mediterranean on immigrant fishes (via the Suez Canal from the Red Sea) and have then switched onto native Mediterranean hosts.
Project: Evolution of the dominant copepods in freshwater.
External collaborators: D Defaye (MNHN, Paris) and C da Rocha (USP, Brazil).
We are exploring the phylogeny and adaptive radiation of the Cyclopidae, the most speciose family of copepods and the dominant family in freshwater habitats. We have studied 160 species in detail and are analysing changes in morphology within the family to identify trends in limb structure and armature. This should generate insight into the oligomerization in groundwater forms, which is typically accompanied by a strong reduction in body size.
Project: The repeated colonization of subterranean habitats.
External collaborators: D Jaume, (IMEDEA, Mallorca, Spain), T Iliffe (Texas A & M University, USA).
Anchialine caves provide refuges for some of the most primitive living crustaceans, from many different higher taxa. We are involved in documenting and analysing the extreme disjunct distribution of anchialine cave crustaceans – including copepods, amphipods and thermosbaenaceans. We have material from numerous sites in and around the Caribbean, and from islands in the South Pacific, which we are in the process of describing.
Project: Comparative Arthropod Morphology.
External collaborators: D Jaume, (IMEDEA, Mallorca, Spain).
New data sets on arthropods in general and crustaceans in particular are being generated in fields such as developmental genetics, molecular phylogenetics and palaeontology. Integrating these diverse data helps us to understand and interpret morphological change. From a base in comparative anatomy, we are using these data to address basic questions relating to arthropod limb skeletomusculature and, ultimately, to arthropod phylogeny. We have just completed a study comparing the outer parts of crustacean post-maxillary limbs (exopodites, epipodites and outer lobes) and are beginning to compare the structure and form of antennae across the major Crustacea groups.
Project: World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)
External collaborators: W. Appletans (VLIZ, Belgium); G. Poore (Victoria Museum, Australia); T C Walter (Smithsonian Institution, USA); T Kihara (USP, Brazil)
The World Register of Marine Species aims to produce a comprehensive list of the species inhabiting the global oceans. This list is produced and updated by a consortium of taxon-based editors who are responsible for managing the acquisition and quality control of species level data. Together with Gary Poore, I am co-editor for the whole of the Crustacea and a co-taxon editor for the Copepoda, with Chad Walter. I am currently running a gap analysis project supported by the Synthesis Group of the Census of Marine Life, dealing with the Crustacea, the parasitic worm taxa and marine ciliates.