Mr James McCoy

Mr James McCoy

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

ARIES NERC funded PhD student at the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Center (MBERC), University of Plymouth.  

Project title: Using novel phenomics technology for environmental sensitivity prediction in species of marine invertebrates. 

Supervised by Professor Simon Rundle, Professor John Spicer, and Dr Oliver Tills.


Marine Biology and Oceanography at the University of Plymouth, 2017 1:1

MRes Marine biology at the University of Plymouth, 2018 Distinction 

Undergraduate dissertation: Transgenerational acclimation to elevated temperature in the brackish water amphipod Gammarus chevreuxi (Sexton, 1913). 

Masters Thesis: Effects of maternal and embryonic exposure to moderate hypoxia on embyronic development and larval performance in the intertidal gastropod Littorina littorea (Linnaeus, 1758).

Professional membership

Society of Experimental Biology 2019 - Current 

Research interests

My research interests lie within the study of embryonic and larval development of marine invertebrates. Specifically I am interested in the responses of these stages of development to environmental change.  

Highly dynamic periods of early development are known to have heightened sensitivities to environmental stress, yet are frequently overlooked in predictions of species responses to global climatic change. Using a novel image acquisition and analysis platform 'EmbryoPhenomics', developed by Dr Oliver Tills at the University of Plymouth, my PhD aims to characterize plastic responses in morphology, physiology, behavior and the timings of developmental events of marine invertebrates subjected to environmental stress. The EmbryoPhenomics platform permits the high-throughput acquisition of high-dimensional phenotypic data, allowing us to more robustly and holistically understand responses of early developmental stages to climatic change. Furthermore, acquisition of phenome level data allows us to quantify 'proxy traits', measurements which are not detectable through manual observation and capable of providing great explanatory power. These data will be used to quantify developmental stage specific lethal and sub-lethal sensitivities to aid our understanding of how marine invertebrates with contrasting modes of development will respond in the face of global environmental change. 

Conferences organised

Member of the organisation committee for PlyMSEF (Plymouth Marine Science and Education Foundation) conference 2020, a conference for postgraduate and early career marine scientists organised by students at the University of Plymouth, the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.