Swansea University student takes lobster research across the pond

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PhD student Charlotte Davies from Swansea University’s Department of Biosciences has received funding allowing her to take her research project ‘Health status of the European lobster Homarus gammarus’ to Canada.

Charlotte Davies lobstersCharlotte, part of the Aquatic Pathobiology group supervised by Professor Andrew F Rowley, has just entered the third year of her studies. Until now, she has been self-funded but this year she received Society of Biology and Climate Change Consortium for Wales Travel Grants in order to begin a collaboration with the Atlantic Veterinary College Lobster Science Centre in Charlottetown, Canada.

Specifically, she will focus on learning about screening techniques used to combat a devastating disease called Gaffkaemia which affects lobsters in both the US and UK. Caused by the bacterium, Aerococcus viridans var. homari, it is extremely contagious and is exacerbated by warmer temperatures, so thrives in lobster impounds and has implications from climate change.

During her time across the pond, Charlotte will also visit existing collaborators at the New England Aquarium in Boston, USA, with whom she is working on a shell disease project.

Charlotte said: “It is very exciting for me to be able to take my studies abroad. I will be working at the forefront of research in my field, and learning new techniques, which I hope to reproduce in the lab upon my return to Swansea. Lobster health is an important issue for fisheries, as they have such long life cycles, it can take years for them to reach the minimum landing size, therefore populations can be delicate“.

To follow Charlotte’s progress in Canada, please visit her blog: www.cedavies72.blogspot.com.