Other Research Projects
Hydropower development is accelerating rapidly to meet demands for sustainable energy. This development is concentrated in the Neotropics, where it is known to substantially impact migratory fish. In particular, barotrauma (injury sustained during rapid decompression) leads to high mortality rates during downstream turbine passage. This project, in collaboration with the Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei (Brazil), assessed barotrauma in two Neotropical fish species, with the aim of facilitating the implementation of environmentally friendly hydropower design.
The release of engineered titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) is an emerging threat to freshwater ecosystems, with toxicity testing recognised as a top priority by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. These particles are released into the the environment rom ageing, abrasion, weathering, bathing, washing processes, agricultural use, or degradation, and can have damaging impacts on freshwater algae. This project, conducted at the University of Bristol, used a combination of flume and microcosm experiments to determine the effects of nTiO2 on natural phytoplankton and phytobenthos assemblages, and demonstrated the substantial impacts of these nanoparticles on algal communities.
Understanding and modelling the evolution of optimal camouflage has proved a consistent challenge for evolutionary biologists. In this project, Generative Adversarial Networks were used to simulate an evolutionary arms race between synthetic predators and prey, resulting in the evolution of camouflage. My contribution to this project involved tested the patterns developed using this technique under field conditions. These patterns did provide effective camouflage, although intrusion by climbing birds (treecreepers and nuthatches) prevented the expected patterns from being observed.