Hello, I’m Ethan a science enthusiast from a small town in Leicestershire (UK). Like many biologists, I grew up catching bugs, collecting fossils, and watching wildlife documentaries which laid the foundations for my interest in the natural world. Living right in the middle of England meant the ocean wasn’t immediately accessible but hours of rock pooling on family holidays, an appetite for learning, and a couple of enthusiastic science teachers led me to study marine biology at the University of Southampton.  

University was a great opportunity to narrow down my interests and I found myself gravitating towards evolution, genetics, and bioinformatics. After my second year I interned at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth and studied gene expression in a calcareous sponge, comparing post-larval development to regeneration. Following this, in my third year, I explored the diversification of Hox genes in cnidarians. Finally, in my fourth year I combined my enthusiasm for genetics with my love for marine ecology by studying the population genetics and biogeography of intertidal gastropods.  

And that brings me neatly to my PhD project – exploring the use of environmental DNA for surveying seagrass habitats in the UK. I think DNA based methods have great potential to supplement conservation and restoration initiatives. I’m excited to get muddy! and join a growing international community of scientists investigating the use of eDNA. Outside of my research you’ll probably find me in a swimming pool, attempting to cook, hiking, painting miniatures, or volunteering somewhere.