Dr Lucy Woodall

Lucy Woodall
  • Post doc research Assistant- litter microbioly
  • Life Sciences department
  • Invertebrates
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Employment history

2011-Present  Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Natural History Museum                        
                            Biodiversity of seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ocean     

2010-2011        Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Cryptic bumblebee species  
                            University of Stirling                                                                               

2009-Present   Postdoctoral Research Associate, European seahorse and genetics systems
                            Project Seahorse, University of British Columbia 

2006-2008       Graduate Teaching Assistant, General Entomology
                           Royal Holloway, University of London 

2004-2007       Graduate Teaching Assistant, Invertebrate Form and Function
                           Royal Holloway, University of London                                                   

2004                  Field Assistant, Portugal
                           Project Seahorse, University of British Columbia       




 2009  Royal Holloway, University of London                                                                                       

Thesis Title: The population genetics and mating systems of European Seahorses

Chapters-     Ecology and demography of European Seahorses 
                        The effect of fin clipping on seahorses 
                        How many species of seahorse are there in Europe?
                        Phylogeography of Hippocampus guttulatus using mtDNA
                        Phylogeography of Hippocampus hippocampus using mtDNA
                        Population genetics of European seahorses utilising microsatellites 
                        Mating system of Hippocampus guttulatus, a genetic perspective management

BSc (Honours) 

1999  Social Biology and Sports Studies, King Alfred’s College, University of Southampton.                 

Thesis Title: The genetic intraspecific variability and population subdivision with the Madeira Archipelago of Pagellus bogaraveo.

Professional Roles


    2006        European Marine Research Stations Network prize for poster presentation at 
                     41st European Marine Biology Symposium (Cork)   


    2010        The Fishmonger’s Company, grant to conduct citizen science on Thames sailing 
                     barges with young people, Awarded to SeaChange.
    2007        British Ecological Society award to attend a conference.
    2006        Fisheries Society of British Isles (FSBI) travel grant to attend a conference.
    2005        Professional Association of Diving Instructors AWARE foundation research grant.
    2005        Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour research grant.
    2004        Royal Holloway, University of London Helen Shackleton Award.
    2004        Royal Holloway, University of London Scholarship.

External collaborations

Prof. D Goulson, University of Sussex, UK
Prof. P. Shaw, University of Aberystwyth, UK
Prof. A. Rogers, University of Oxford, UK
Prof. R. Thompson, University of Plymouth, UK
Dr. J Andrade, University of Algarve, Portugal
Dr. J. Curtis, Fisheries and Oceans, Canada
Dr. B. Darvill, University of Stirling, UK
Dr. H. Koldewey, Zoological Society of London, UK
Dr. L. Kvarnemo, University of Turku, Finland
Dr. S. Lourie, Redpath Museum, Canada
Dr. K. Park, University of Stirling, UK
Dr. A. Wilson, Brooklyn College, USA
Dr. J Copley, University of Southampton, UK
Dr. C Liautard-Haag, University of Montpellier, France
Dr. A. Vincent, University of British Columbia, Canada

External responsibilities

  • Reviewer for Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Molecular Ecology, Diversity, African Journal of Marine Science and Springer Plus.
  • Reviewer for Molecular Ecology.
  • IUCN Red list assessor for Hippocampus hippocampus and Hippocampus guttulatus
  • Council Member for the Ray Society.
  • Advisor to German EEZ review committee (seahorse specialist).
  • Reviewer for Underwater Technology.
  • Reviewer for Journal of Fish Biology.
  • Reviewer for Environmental Biology of Fishes.
  • Reviewer for Journal of the Marine Biological Association.
  • Reviewer for Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.
  • Member of Natural England Seahorse working group (biological specialist).
  • Advisor to the convention for the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic (Seahorse specialist).



My research is based within the field of molecular ecology, which provides a framework to answer questions related to genetic structure and diversity. I apply molecular tools (mtDNA sequencing and microsatellite loci genotyping) to current ecological challenges. I have worked with a wide variety with species (vertebrates and invertebrates) and my interests cover: conservation genetics, breeding systems, phylogeography and cryptic species identification. I continue to use genetic methodology to understand small scale landscape/seascape effects on population connectivity and apply this knowledge to species management and conservation.

Current Projects

  • Biodiversity of Seamounts in the Southwest Indian Ocean
    This project will investigate benthic assemblages on seamounts of the Southwest Indian Ridge SWIR. The aims of the project are to survey, sample, and identify the benthic megafauna, macrofauna, and meiofauna of a series of seamounts located on the SWIR and map their distributions in relation to the topography, hydrography, bathymetry and primary productivity of the environment.  In addition, the project will quantify the past and present effects of commercial bottom-trawl fisheries on the benthos by surveying both fished and un-fished areas inside and outside the projected Biodiversity Protected Areas.
    My role includes;  cataloging all meiofaunal samples from the research cruise
                                    processing meiofaunal samples
                                    genetic barcoding and phylogeography of nematodes 
    This work is funded by IUCN and NERC.
  • Phylogeography of Seahorses in Western Australia
    I provide the genetic support for barcoding and population genetics of seahorses from Western Australia.
  • Distribution of the cryptic species complex- Bombus lucorum
    University of Stirling, Prof. D. Goulson
  • Conservation of European Seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus hippocampus)
    Project Seahorse


  • Scriven JJ, Woodall LC, Tinsley MC, Knight M, Williams PH, Carolan JC, Brown MJF and Goulson D ( 2014 ) Revealing the hidden niches of cryptic bumblebees in Great Britain: implications for conservation Biological Conservation In press : .
  • Woodall LC, Sanchez-Vidal A, Canals M, Paterson GLJ, Coppock R, Sleigh V, Calafat A, Rogers AD, Narayanaswamy B and Thomson R ( 2014 ) The deep sea is a major sink for microplastic debris Royal Society Open Science . doi.org/10.1098/rsos.140317
  • Boehm JT, Woodall LC, Teske, PR, Lourie S, Baldwin C, Waldman J and Hickerson M ( 2013 ) Marine dispersal and barriers drive Atlantic seahorse diversification Journal of Biogeography 40(10) : 1839-1849 . 10.1111/jbi.12127.
  • Scriven JJ, Woodall LC and Goulson D ( 2013 ) The direct amplification of bumblebee DNA from faeces. Molecular Ecology Resources 13 : 225-229 .
  • Darvill B, Lepais O, Woodall LC and Goulson D ( 2012 ) Triploid bumblebees indicate a direct cost of inbreeding in fragmented populations Molecular Ecology 21 : 3988-3995 .
  • Woodall LC, Zimmerman B, Jones R, Shaw P and Koldewey HJ ( 2012 ) Partial fin-clipping as an effective tool for tissue sampling in seahorses, Hippocampus spp. Journal of the Marine Biological Association 92 : 1427-1432 .
  • Woodall LC, Koldewey HJ and Shaw P ( 2011 ) Serial monogamy in the Long-snouted Seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus. Conservation Genetics 12 : 1645-1649 .
  • Woodall, LC, Koldewey HJ and Shaw P ( 2011 ) Historical and contemporary population genetic connectivity of the European short snouted seahorse, Hippocampus hippocampus, and implications for management. Journal of Fish Biology 78 : 1738-1756 .
  • Naud M-J, Curtis JM, Woodall LC and Gaspar M ( 2009 ) Mate choice, operational sex ratio and social promiscuity in a wild population of the long-snouted seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus. Behavioural Ecology 20 : 160-164 .
  • Woodall LC, Koldewey HJ and Shaw P ( 2009 ) New techniques to the rescue for seahorse identification. EAZA News 65 : 14-15 .
  • Woodall LC, Koldewey HJ, Santos SV and Shaw P ( 2009 ) First occurrence of the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus (Perry 1810) in the Eastern Atlantic Journal of Fish Biology 75 : 1505-1512 .