Academic Year 2019-2020
Institution University of Aberdeen


Pronouns: she/her

School: School of Biological Sciences

Project: Aspects of movement, behaviour, and connectivity in spurdog (Squalus acanthias)

Supervisors: Dr Catherine Jones and Professor Andy Meharg

Undergraduate Education: BSc (HONS) Zoology

Postgraduate Education: MRes Marine Biology, University of Plymouth & Marine Biological Association

Research: My project will use a combination of population genetics and stable isotope analysis to gain insight into the movement, genetic connectivity and population size of spurdog found in the Loch Sunart to Sound of Jura Marine Protected Area (MPA) as well as other regions of the UK.

I will be heading out with recreational anglers on charter fishing boats based in Oban. We will be catching spurdog, taking measurements, collecting a small tissue sample, inserting a tag for future identification (similar to domestic pets) and releasing them.

Spurdog (Squalus acanthias), also known as spiny dogfish, are a small shark species, which can reach a maximum length of 1.2 m.

Tissue samples will be collected from spurdog within the MPA and opportunistically from other locations across the UK. I will be able to use these tissue samples to extract DNA for genetic analysis, as well as identify trace metals accumulated in the tissue and understand movement and trophic level through stable isotope analysis.