Dr Keiron Fraser

Dr Keiron Fraser

Associate Professor (Education) in Marine Conservation

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



I am an Associate Professor (Education) in Marine Conservation, Academic Lead for the Marine Station and the University Diving Officer. I have overall responsibility for operational management of the University Marine Station as well as strategic development. In addition I am responsible for oversight of all diving carried out by staff and students at the University of Plymouth, excluding diving carried out by the Student Union SCUBA Society.
I am the academic module leader for a Scientific Diving module (OS207), teach on the Ocean Science and Marine Conservation Field Course (OS313) and Fish and Fisheries (MBIO363) and act as an adviser to BSc, Masters and PhD Students.
I also work with the National Geographic Pristine Seas Programme as an Expedition Leader and scientist.


BSc Marine Biology/Zoology - Bangor University 1994
PhD - University of Aberdeen 1998
After completing my PhD, I worked for the British Antarctic Survey from 1998-2008 as a Marine Eco-physiologist. During this time I worked in the Antarctic and Arctic and have dived extensively in the Antarctic and at South Georgia. After leaving the British Antarctic Survey I worked for the Government of South Georgia for 6 years as a Government Officer managing fisheries and tourism and as the Operations Manager overseeing fisheries management, fisheries patrolling and the management of large scale environmental projects. While based in the Falkland Islands I dived with the Shallow Marine Survey group in many areas of the archipelago. 
I have dived professionally for 25 years and recreationally for 32 years. 

Professional membership

Porcupine Marine Natural History Society
Marine Biological Association
Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society 

Roles on external bodies

BSI and ISO Committees for the standardisation of scientific diver training
Scientific Diving Sub-Committee (SDSC) of the Health and Safety Executive
Port of Plymouth Liaison Committee (PPLC) member


Teaching interests

HSE Professional SCUBA training with an emphasis on teaching diving scientists. 
The application of scientific diving to carry out sub-sea research.
Animal ecophysiology and in particular the field-based measurement of physiological function in organisms. 
Fish and fisheries management.
Marine conservation. 


Research interests

The application of scientific diving to carry out subsea research. 
Marine ectotherm ecophysiology, in particular protein metabolism and seasonality.
Temperate sea grass ecology.
Benthic ecology. 
SCUBA based measurement of biodiversity. 
Seasonality in the marine environment.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Alvarez-Cienfuegos, I. (in progress). Factors controlling protein metabolism and growth in the intertidal limpet Patella vulgata. UoP funded
Truebano, M. (2010). Thermal stress in the Antarctic clam Laternulaand temperate mussel Mytilus edulis: European Science Foundation PolarCLIMATE
Smale, D. (2007). The influence of ice disturbance on nearshore benthic communities at Adelaide Island, Antarctica: Daniel Smale (2007). Open University
Bowgen, A. (2005). Low temperature protein metabolism: the energetic costs of living and growing at thermal extremes: NERC PhD Studentship
Clarke, E. (2021). Does the non-native invasive Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas enhance or degrade benthic biodiversity
de Natale, C (2021). Comparison of survey techniques for habitat characterization in shallow, structured habitats: A measurement of survey effort for habitat characterization in coastal waters
Blackman, C (2020). Plymouth Sound and estuaries Special Area of Conservation: Analysis of change in subtidal Reef communities over time 1998-2019. 
Gilkinson, C. (2020). The effect of biotic and abiotic conditions on the distribution of Mediterranean seagrass. 
Baker, J. (2019). A short-term trial of the recovery of a seagrass meadow in a commercially important location after the installation of Stirling-Advanced moorings. 

Grants & contracts

Government of Malta - Consultancy 


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S., Clark, M.S., Clarke, A., Hill, S.L. (2022). Life in the freezer: protein metabolism in Antarctic fish. Royal Society Open Science 9, 211272.

Firth LB, Farnworth M, Fraser KPP & McQuatters-Gollop A (2023) 'Make a difference: Choose artificial reefs over natural reefs to compensate for the environmental impacts of dive tourism' Science of The Total Environment , DOI Open access
Fraser KPP, Peck LS, Clark MS, Clarke A & Hill SL (2022) 'Life in the freezer: protein metabolism in Antarctic fish' Royal Society Open Science 9, (3) , DOI Open access
Van de Putte AP, Janko K, Kasparova E, Maes GE, Rock J, Koubbi P, Volckaert FAM, Choleva L, Fraser KPP & Smykla J (2012) 'Comparative phylogeography of three trematomid fishes reveals contrasting genetic structure patterns in benthic and pelagic species' Marine Genomics 8, 23-34 , DOI
Thorne MAS, Burns G, Fraser KPP, Hillyard G & Clark MS (2010) 'Transcription profiling of acute temperature stress in the Antarctic plunderfish Harpagifer antarcticus' Marine Genomics 3, (1) 35-44 , DOI
Campbell H, Davison W, Fraser KPP, Peck LS & Egginton S (2009) 'Heart rate and ventilation in Antarctic fishes are largely determined by ecotype' Journal of Fish Biology 74, (3) 535-552 , DOI
Smale DA, Brown KM, Barnes DKA, Fraser KPP & Clarke A (2008) 'Ice Scour Disturbance in Antarctic Waters' Science 321, (5887) 371-371 , DOI
Kemp KM, Fraser KPP, Collins MA & Priede IG (2008) 'Seasonal variation in the white muscle biochemical composition of deep-sea macrourids in the North-east Atlantic' Marine Biology 155, (1) 37-49 , DOI
Barnes DKA, Linse K, Enderlein P, Smale D, Fraser KPP & Brown M (2008) 'Marine richness and gradients at Deception Island, Antarctica' Antarctic Science 20, (3) 271-280 , DOI
Clark MS, Fraser KPP & Peck LS (2008) 'Lack of an HSP70 heat shock response in two Antarctic marine invertebrates' Polar Biology 31, (9) 1059-1065 , DOI
Campbell HA, Fraser KPP, Bishop CM, Peck LS & Egginton S (2008) 'Hibernation in an Antarctic Fish: On Ice for Winter' PLoS ONE 3, (3) e1743-e1743 , DOI
Smale DA, Barnes DKA, Fraser KPP & Peck LS (2008) 'Benthic community response to iceberg scouring at an intensely disturbed shallow water site at Adelaide Island, Antarctica' Marine Ecology Progress Series 355, 85-94 , DOI
Clark MS, Fraser KPP & Peck LS (2008) 'Antarctic marine molluscs do have an HSP70 heat shock response' Cell Stress and Chaperones 13, (1) 39-49 , DOI
Clark MS, Geissler P, Waller C, Fraser KPP, Barnes DKA & Peck LS (2008) 'Low heat shock thresholds in wild Antarctic inter-tidal limpets (Nacella concinna)' Cell Stress and Chaperones 13, (1) 51-58 , DOI
SMALE DA, BARNES DKA & FRASER KPP (2007) 'The influence of ice scour on benthic communities at three contrasting sites at Adelaide Island, Antarctica' Austral Ecology 32, (8) 878-888 , DOI
Smale DA, Barnes DKA, Fraser KPP, Mann PJ & Brown MP (2007) 'Scavenging in Antarctica: Intense variation between sites and seasons in shallow benthic necrophagy' Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 349, (2) 405-417 , DOI
Campbell HA, Fraser KPP, Peck LS, Bishop CM & Egginton S (2007) 'Life in the fast lane: The free-ranging activity, heart rate and metabolism of an Antarctic fish tracked in temperate waters' Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 349, (1) 142-151 , DOI
Clark MS, Fraser KPP, Burns G & Peck LS (2007) 'The HSP70 heat shock response in the Antarctic fish Harpagifer antarcticus' Polar Biology 31, (2) 171-180 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Clarke A & Peck LS (2007) 'Growth in the slow lane: protein metabolism in the Antarctic limpet<i>Nacella concinna</i>(Strebel 1908)' Journal of Experimental Biology 210, (15) 2691-2699 , DOI
Bowgen AD, Fraser KPP, Peck LS & Clarke A (2007) 'Energetic cost of synthesizing proteins in Antarctic limpet,<i>Nacella concinna</i>(Strebel, 1908), is not temperature dependent' American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 292, (6) R2266-R2274 , DOI
Smale DA, Barnes DKA & Fraser KPP (2006) 'The influence of depth, site exposure and season on the intensity of iceberg scouring in nearshore Antarctic waters' Polar Biology 30, (6) 769-779 , DOI
Barnes DKA, Linse K, Waller C, Morely S, Enderlein P, Fraser KPP & Brown M (2005) 'Shallow benthic fauna communities of South Georgia Island' Polar Biology 29, (3) 223-228 , DOI
Peck LS, Clark MS, Clarke A, Cockell CS, Convey P, Detrich HW, Fraser KPP, Johnston IA, Methe BA & Murray AE (2004) 'Genomics: applications to Antarctic ecosystems' Polar Biology 28, (5) 351-365 , DOI
Brown KM, Fraser KPP, Barnes DKA & Peck LS (2004) 'Links between the structure of an Antarctic shallow-water community and ice-scour frequency' Oecologia 141, (1) 121-129 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Peck LS & Clarke A (2004) 'Protein Synthesis, RNA Concentrations, Nitrogen Excretion, and Metabolism Vary Seasonally in the Antarctic Holothurian<i>Heterocucumis steineni</i>(Ludwig 1898)' Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 77, (4) 556-569 , DOI
Clarke A & Fraser KPP (2004) 'Why does metabolism scale with temperature?' Functional Ecology 18, (2) 243-251 , DOI
Clark MS, Clarke A, Cockell CS, Convey P, Detrich III HW, Fraser KPP, Johnston IA, Methe BA, Murray AE & Peck LS (2004) 'Antarctic Genomics' Comparative and Functional Genomics 5, (3) 230-238 , DOI
Barnes DKA & Fraser KPP (2003) 'Rafting by five phyla on man-made flotsam in the Southern Ocean' Marine Ecology Progress Series 262, 289-291 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Clarke A & Peck LS (2002) 'Low-temperature protein metabolism: seasonal changes in protein synthesis and RNA dynamics in the Antarctic limpet <i>Nacella concinna</i> Strebel 1908' Journal of Experimental Biology 205, (19) 3077-3086 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Clarke A & Peck LS (2002) 'Feast and famine in Antarctica: seasonal physiology in the limpet Nacella concinna' Marine Ecology Progress Series 242, 169-177 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Houlihan DF, Lutz PL, Leone-Kabler S, Manuel L & Brechin JG (2001) 'Complete suppression of protein synthesis during anoxia with no post-anoxia protein synthesis debt in the red-eared slider turtle<i>Trachemys scripta elegans</i>' Journal of Experimental Biology 204, (24) 4353-4360 , DOI
Fraser KPP, Lyndon AR & Houlihan DF (1998) 'Protein synthesis and growth in juvenile Atlantic halibut,<i>Hippoglossus hippoglossus</i>(L.): application of<sup>15</sup>N stable isotope tracer' Aquaculture Research 29, (4) 289-298 , DOI
Campbell HA, Fraser KPP, Bishop CM, Peck LS & Egginton S (2011) 'Hibernation in an antarctic fish: On ice for winter' Research Progress in Fisheries Science 145-163
Whiteley NM & Fraser KPP (2009) 'The effects of temperature on ectotherm protein metabolism' Protein Biosynthesis 249-266
Fraser KPP & Rogers AD (2007) 'Protein Metabolism in Marine Animals: The Underlying Mechanism of Growth' Advances in Marine Biology Elsevier 267-362 , DOI


Reports & invited lectures

University of Plymouth training framework for scientific diving: Health and Safety (HSE) SCUBA qualification- European Science Diver Online Workshop Dec 2020