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Behaviour and physiology

Wildlife behaviour Wildlife physiology Professor Richard Handy
Professor Mal Jones
Dr David Boyle
 Local collaborators
Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre (MBERC)

The interplay between behaviour and physiology presents a fragile link open to interference from anthropogenic processes. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding how organisms function have important implications for predicting how organisms respond to the impact of human activities on ecosystems. Our work particularly focuses on trace metal metabolism in fishes. Fish have a nutritional requirement for trace minerals, whilst excess of any metal can lead to toxic effects. We use fish models to investigate the mechanisms of metal homeostasis and chronic sub-lethal effects of dietary exposure on physiological behaviour. This involves aspects of nutritional physiology, blood function, cardiovascular physiology, bioenergetics, and histopathology. Our research uses field and lab based approaches with an emphasis on ecological relevence.

Current research projects

  • The behavioural and physiological responses of intertidal fish to hypoxia.
  • The effects of nanoparticles on fish behaviours.
  • The role of early life experiences on individual variation in behaviour and physiology.
  • Investigation into trace metal metabolism in fishes.