I am Professor in Marine Biology and Head of School at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences.
My research interests focus on the growth, behaviour, physiology and reproduction of marine molluscs. I am particularly interested in the incremental growth of bivalve and gastropod shells and I am studying the mechanism of formation of semi-diurnal, diurnal and annual microgrowth patterns in bivalve shells. My main interest recently has been the use of mollusc shells as archives of environmental contamination. Using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) (studies in collaboration with the British Geological Survey) it has been possible to show that horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus shells contain a record of changes in the heavy metal content of the North Sea. Mussel, Mytilus trossulus shells growing in close proximity to effluent discharges from Kraft Pulp mills in Canada contain a different chemical signature to mussels growing distant from sites of discharge. The shells of razor clams and dog cockles damaged by fishing gears contain a record of the frequency of damage.
My role in ARAMACC is as a co-supervisor of the WP3 project “The biological and ecological drivers of calcification rate and increment formation in Arctica islandica” (with ARAMACC researcher Irene Ballesta Artero)