Dr Keiron Fraser

Dr Keiron Fraser

Lecturer in Marine Conservation and Academic Dive Manager

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



As a Lecturer in Marine Conservation and the Academic Diving Manager, as well as the University Diving Officer, I am responsible for managing all diving carried out by staff and students at the University of Plymouth, excluding diving carried out by the Student Union SCUBA Society. My remit includes diving carried out on the HSE SCUBA courses run by the University, the Scientific Diving module (OS207), diving on student placements and student dissertations and diving by staff to collect samples, or gather data for their research. My responsibilities extend to diving both in the UK and overseas.   

In addition 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.  


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 23 years and recreationally for 30 years. 

Professional membership

Porcupine Marine Natural History Society

Marine Biological Association

Roles on external bodies

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.

Field-based measurements of physiological function in organisms.  

Fish and fisheries management.



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. 

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

Bowgen, A. (2005). Low temperature protein metabolism: the energetic costs of living and growing at thermal extremes: NERC PhD Studentship

Smale, D. (2007). The influence of ice disturbance on nearshore benthic communities at Adelaide Island, Antarctica: Daniel Smale (2007). Open University

Truebano, M. (2010). Thermal stress in the Antarctic clam Laternula and temperate mussel Mytilus edulis: European Science Foundation PolarCLIMATE


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. 

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.  


Grants & contracts

Government of Malta - Consultancy 



Van de Putte, A. P. , Janko, K., Kasparova, E., Maes, G. E., Rock, J., Koubbi, P., Volckaert, F.A.M., Choleva, L., Fraser, K.P.P., Smykla, J., Van Houdt, J.K.J., and Marshall, C. (2012). Comparative phylogeography of three trematomid fishes reveals contrasting genetic structure patterns in benthic and pelagic species. Marine Genomics, 8, 23-34.

Thorne, M.A.S., Burns, G., Fraser, K.P.P., Hillyard, G., Clark, M.S. (2010). Transcription profiling of acute temperature stress in the Antarctic plunderfish Harpagifer antarcticus. Marine Genomics 3, 34-44.

Campbell, H., Davison, W., Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S., Egginton, S. (2009). Heart rate and ventilation in Antarctic fishes are largely determined by ecotype. Journal of Fish Biology 74, 535-552.

Smale, D.A., Brown, K.M., Barnes, D.K.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Clarke, A. (2008). Ice scour disturbance in Antarctic waters. Science 321,,371.

Clark, M.S., Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S. (2008). Lack of an HSP70 heat shock response in two Antarctic marine invertebrates. Polar Biology DOI 10.1007/s00300-008-0447-7

Barnes, D.K.A., Linse, K., Enderlein, P., Smale, D., Fraser, K.P.P., Brown, M. (2008). Marine richness & gradients at Deception Island, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 20, 271-279.

Smale, D.A., Barnes, D.K.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S. (2008). Benthic community response to iceberg scouring at an intensley disturbed shallow water site at Adelaide island, Antarctica. Marine Ecology Progress Series 355, 85-94.

Kemp, K.M., Fraser, K.P.P., Collins, M.A., Priede, I.G. (2008). Seasonal variation in the white muscle biochemical composition of deep-sea macrourids in the North-East Atlantic. Marine Biology DOI 10.1007/s00227-008-1004-1

Cambell, H.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Bishop, C.M., Peck, L.S., Egginton, S. (2008). Hibernation in an Antarctic fish: on ice for winter. PLos one  3, e1743.

Clarke, M.S., Geissler, P., Waller, C., Fraser, K.P.P., Barnes, D.K.A., Peck, L.S. (2008). Low heat shock thresholds in wild Antarctic intertidal limpets (Nacella concinna). Cell Stress and Chaperones 13, 51-58.

Smale, D.A., Barnes, D.K.A, Fraser, K.P.P. (2008) The influence of ice scour on benthic communities at three contrasting sites at Adelaide Island, Antarctica. Austral Ecology 32, 878-888

Clark, M.S., Fraser, K.P.P., Burns, G., Peck, L.S. (2008). The HSP70 response in the Antarctic fish Harpagifer antarcticus. Polar Biology 31, 171-180.

Barnes, D.K.A., Linse, K., Enderlein, P., Smale, D.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Brown, M. (2008). Marine richness and gradients at Deception Island, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 20, 271-279.

Clark, M.S., Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S. (2008). Antarctic marine molluscs do have an HSP70 heat shock reponse. Cell Stress and Chaperones 13, 39-49.

Smale, D.A., Barnes, D.K.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Mann, P., Brown, M. (2007). Scavenging in Antarctica: intense variation between sites and seasons in shallow benthic necrophagy. Journal of Experimental Biology and Ecology 349, 405-417.

Campbell, H.A., Fraser, K.P.P., Peck, L.S., Bishop, C.M., Egginton, S. (2007). Life in the fast lane: The activity, heart rate and metabolism of an Antarctic fish tracked in temperate water. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology B349, 142-151

Fraser, K.P.P., Clarke, A, Peck, L.S. (2007). Growth in the slow lane: protein metabolism in the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna (Strebel 1908). Journal of Experimental Biology 210, 2691-2699.

Bowgen A.D., Fraser K.P.P. Peck, L.S. and Clarke, A. (2007). Energetic cost of synthesizing proteins in Antarctic limpet, Nacella concinna (Strebel, 1908), is not temperature dependent. American Journal of Physiology  292, R2266-R2274

Smale, D.A. Barnes, D.K.A., Fraser, K.P.P. (2007). The influence of depth, site exposure and season on the intensity of iceberg scouring in nearshore Antarctic waters. Polar Biology 30, 769-779.

Fraser K.P.P., &  Rogers A.D. (2007). Protein metabolism in marine animals: the underlying mechanism of growth. Advances in Marine Biology  52, 267-362.

Barnes D.K.A., Linse K., Waller C., Morley S., Enderlein P., Fraser K.P.P. and Brown M. (2006). Shallow benthic communities of South Georgia. Polar Biology 29, 223-228.

Peck L.S., Clark M.S., Clarke A., Cockell C.S., Convey P., Detrich III W., Fraser K.P.P., Johnston I.J., Methe B.A., Murray A.E., Romisch K., Rogers A.D. (2005). Genomics: Applications to Antarctic Ecosystems. Polar Biology 28, 351-365.

Brown K.M., Fraser K.P.P., Barnes D.K.A., Peck L.S. (2004). Links between the structure of an Antarctic shallow-water community and ice-scour frequency. Oecologia 141, 121-129

Fraser K.P.P., Peck L.S., Clarke A. (2004). Protein synthesis, RNA concentrations, nitrogen excretion and metabolism vary seasonally in the Antarctic holothurian Heterocucumis steineni (Ludwig 1898). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 77, 556-569.

Clark M.S., Clarke A., Cockell C.S., Covey P., Detrich III H.W., Fraser K.P.P., Johnston I.A., Methe B.A., Murray A.E., Peck L.S., Romisch K, Rogers A.D. (2004). Antarctic genomics. Comparative and Functional Genomics 5, 230-238.

Clarke A. & Fraser K.P.P. (2003). Why does metabolism scale with temperature? Functional Ecology 18, 243-251.

Barnes D.K.A., & Fraser K.P.P. (2003). Rafting by 5 phyla on man-made flotsam in the Southern Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series 262, 289-291.

Fraser K.P.P., Clarke A., Peck L.S. (2002). Feast and famine in Antarctica: seasonal physiology in the limpet Nacella concinna. Marine Ecology Progress Series 242, 169-177.

Fraser K.P.P., Clarke A., Peck L.S. (2002). Low-temperature protein metabolism: seasonal changes in protein synthesis and RNA dynamics in the Antarctic limpet Nacella concinna Strebel 1908. Journal of Experimental Biology 205, 3077-3086

Fraser K.P.P., Houlihan D.F., Lutz P.L., Leone-Kabler S., Manuel L., Brechin J.G. (2001). Complete suppression of protein synthesis during anoxia, with no post-anoxia protein synthesis debt in the red eared slider turtle Trachemys scripta elegans. Journal of Experimental Biology 204, 4353-4360.

Fraser K.P.P., Lyndon A.R., Houlihan D.F. (1998). Protein synthesis and growth in juvenile atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus (L.)): Application of 15N stable isotope tracer.  Aquaculture Research, 29, 289-298.


Book Chapters


Whitley, N.M. & Fraser K.P.P. (2008). The effects of temperature on ectotherm protein metabolism. In “Protein Biosynthesis”, edited by TE Esterhouse & LB Petrinos, Nova Science Publishers Inc, US.

Conference proceedings


Sayer, M.D.J., Fraser, K.P.P., Shimmield, T.M., Wilkinson, J.P. (2007). Under sea ice diving operations carried out by UK organisations in support of scientific research. Proceedings of the polar diving workshop, Smithsonian Institute, Washington.


Book Reviews


Review of The physiology of polar fishes, edited by A.P. Farrell and J.F. Steffenson. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 2005 (2007). Polar Record 43, 77-78. 




Reports & invited lectures

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