Lucy Turner

Year of graduation: 2005

Current employer: Plymouth University

Current job title: Lecturer in Marine Biology

Current location: Plymouth

I went on to do a PhD in land crab biology, which meant I carried out fieldwork on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

What was the title of your project? 

'A molecular phylogeny of the family Chromodorididae (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia) based on 16S rDNA and 18S rDNA data.’

Describe your research in one sentence. 

Unravelling the evolutionary relationships within a family of colourful seaslugs, which is important because compounds produced by these animals are often targeted for drug discovery.

What was the most exciting element(s) of your project (e.g. fieldwork or conferences etc)? 

Learning molecular techniques, which opened my eyes to a completely new area of marine biological research that I had no knowledge or experience of before.

What was the most exciting outcome(s) of your project? 

I was advised that my work was good enough to be published but that it would also benefit from increasing the size of the data set. I was therefore supported and successful in my application to secure my own funding for this. I then went on to publish the work.

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your research. 

I went on to do a PhD in land crab biology, which meant I carried out fieldwork on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Since then I have been involved in research to understand the impacts of climate change on the marine environment, most recently based in India.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work? 

Seize every opportunity to get as much experience as you can whether that is in the lab, field or helping out at conferences both in the academic or voluntary sectors. Also, do not overlook the importance of networking and talking to other marine scientists.

How did your time at Plymouth University help you? 

At the time I had just completed a very ‘traditional’ BSc in Marine Biology. I realised that if I was serious about having a marine biology research career I needed to get some molecular experience. My MRes undoubtedly led to my success securing a highly competitive NERC funded PhD position, which cemented the foundation to my career.

Would you recommend undertaking research at Plymouth University, and why? 

Yes, the University has fantastic research facilities, a supportive research student community and staff that will encourage you every step of the way.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students? 

I also met my future husband on my MRes – we got married in Plymouth last year.

Lucy Turner
Lucy Turner
crab attack