Monday 22 December 2014

I did it (but not without this lot!)

First and foremost I would like to thank Dr. Miranda Whitten, for introducing me to the joys of molecular biology, being an extremely patient mentor, and for the continued support throughout my PhD; someone whose enthusiasm for all things tiny and ‘yuck’, never ceases to amaze me. Dr. Emma Wootton, thank you for the extensive lobster knowledge and encouragement, even long after leaving the laboratory, and for more than anything, being a friend. 

Special thanks to Anita Kim and Dr. Michael Tlusty at the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA, for being both meticulous collaborators and gracious hosts. Professor Spencer Greenwood, Dr. Fraser Clark and Adam Acorn at the Lobster Science Centre, Charlottetown, Canada for making qPCR sound so easy, and to Spencer’s wife for my first taste of pumpkin pie, thank you. 

To my collaborators in the engineering department, Drs Thierry Maffeis and Mark Penny, for getting excited about ‘little bugs’ and letting me loose on some very expensive equipment. To Keith Naylor, thanks (and apologies) from both me and the forever-leaking/escaping/generally disastrous lobsters and to Ian, Hilary and Sarah for the endless favours and questions. 

Thanks to Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and Natural England for letting me sample in the No-Take Zone of Lundy Island, and Geoff and his crew aboard ‘Our Jenny’ for keeping us afloat during the sometimes-choppy sampling periods. I would also like to thank Dr. Paul Stebbing at Cefas for the positive controls of bacteria.

Thanks to Professor Rory Wilson, for showing me that not only can you travel the world and be head of department; you can do the moon-walk too! Carolyn for the lab use and PCR advice, Ed Dudley for the spectrophotometer, Caspian for the coffee and complaining, and the rest of the Animal Movement Lab for the lunchtime Pictionary and Frisbee. 

I would like to thank the Society of Biology, Marine Biological Association of Great Britain, Climate Change Consortium of Wales, John Mathews Educational Charity, Society of Experimental Biology through the Company of Biologists, British Ecological Society and Challenger Society for Marine Science for the travel grants and bursaries, without which I would not have been able to complete this adventure. In addition, to Penny, Laura, Gethin, Ed, Ian and anyone else who succumbed to my pestering for teaching hours – a huge thank-you. 

I would like to thank my mum, dad, nanna and sister for the grounding, support, chocolate deliveries, and for always being there when I needed an ear (or a holiday)! I would also like to thank Dr. Andrew Johnson for sharing the dreams, reminding me that life extends beyond the PhD and for educating me in the art of patience (and R)! 

Last, but not least, I would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Andrew Rowley, for the support, tolerance, advice and the home-grown vegetables! Without him I would not have begun this strange journey into the secret life of lobsters; I have learned a great deal from working in his laboratory.