In 2019, I graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Essex, where I developed a keen interest in marine microbiology and ecology. During this time, I re-established the student-led Marine Conservation Society. Together we organised events such as beach and river clean-ups both as a society and in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust. I completed my dissertation on the ‘Spatial Ecology of Coral Disease in the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia’ under the supervision of Professor David Smith. The research project, involving a 6-week SCUBA diving expedition, analysed the prevalence of disease across different coral genera and environmental conditions.
I became aware of the diversity of Vibrio bacteria due to their association with multiple coral diseases, and the importance of investigating the expansion of marine pathogens with rising sea temperatures in terms of both geographic cover and population abundance. These topics dominate my research interests, now from a human health perspective, as climate warming is associated with increasing incidences of Vibrio infections around the world.
I started my PhD, entitled: 'Is it safe to go in the sea? Climate change and Vibrio bacteria', at UEA in 2019 under the supervision of Professor Iain Lake. This project is funded by the ARIES DTP and CASE partner CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science).
My current research aims to generate a clearer understanding of how environmental conditions influence the geographic distribution of human Vibrio pathogens in marine ecosystems and to identify areas of elevated future Vibrio infection risk under different climate change scenarios.