Dr Jamie McCoy

Dr Jamie McCoy


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



BBSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Center (MBERC), and Plymouth Science Park (PSP). My research interests focus on understanding how environmental change influences the earliest life stages of marine and freshwater invertebrates through the application of bio-imaging, and computer vision approaches. 


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Plymouth, 2023. 
MRes Marine biology, University of Plymouth, 2018: Distinction.
BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Oceanography, University of Plymouth, 2017: 1:1.

Professional membership

Society of Experimental Biology 
Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology


Research interests


Embryonic development is a period of huge functional and structural upheaval, and responses to environmental change during this highly dynamic life stage are complex and involve changes to morphology, physiology and behaviour. Effectively measuring this change requires the application of phenotyping approaches capable of capturing this complexity. I am currently a BBSRC funded postdoctoral research associate in the EmbryoPhenomics research group, developing and applying novel bioimaging and computer vision approaches to address these challenges, particularly within the context of aquaculture research and industry.
I completed my PhD in 2023, focusing on what phenomics, the acquisition of phenotypic data at the scale of the whole organism, can contribute to our understanding of physiological development and its response to climatic change. Using technology developed by Dr Oliver Tills, I applied bio-imaging and computer vision approaches to assess responses to elevated temperature regimes in embryos of freshwater snails. 
My previous research has demonstrated how exposure to mild hypoxia during early development influences the size of gas exchange and locomotory structures in embryos of a marine snail. In this study, animals that survived periods of low oxygen were shown to have much larger surface areas for gas exchange, a potentially adaptive response allowing them to survive periods of environmental stress through a mechanism known as 'developmental plasticity'. 



McCoy, J.C.S., Spicer, J.I., Rundle S.D., Tills, O. (2023). Comparative phenomics: a new approach to study heterochrony. Frontiers in Physiology, 14, 1237022. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2023.1237022
McCoy, J.CS., Spicer, J.I., Tills, O. (2023). Phenomics as an approach to Comparative Developmental Physiology. Frontiers in Physiology, 14, 1229500. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2023.1229500
McCoy, J.C.S. (2023). ECR Spotlight – Jamie McCoy. Journal of Experimental Biology, 226, jeb24663. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.246263
McCoy, J.C.S., Spicer, J.I., Rundle, S.D., Tills, O. (2023). A phenomics approach reveals interspecific differences in integrated developmental responses to chronic elevated temperatures. Journal of Experimental Biology, 226, 245612. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.245612 
McCoy, J.C.S., Spicer, J.I., Tills, O., Rundle, S.D. (2020). Both maternal and embryonic exposure to mild hypoxia influence embryonic development of the intertidal gastropod Littorina littorea. Journal of Experimental Biology, 223, jeb221895. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.221895



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. 


ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James-Mccoy-11
EmbryoPhenomics: www.embryophenomics.org