Dr Lucy Turner
Lecturer in Marine Biology
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
I am a Lecturer in Marine Biology here at the University of Plymouth and divide my time between teaching and research.
In my research I specialise in using comparative ecophysiological and biochemical approaches within interdisciplinary (natural-social science) frameworks to understand the impact of ongoing global change on the marine environment, and to contribute towards sustainable solutions for this. I work across trophic levels and taxonomic groupings and I often use large-scale integrative approaches to my thinking and research. I integrate biochemistry with molecular biology, whole organism physiology and also more recently with cutting edge ‘omics’ techniques to understand how organisms respond to environmental change, and how this may ultimately influence the functionality of the ecosystem. When these types of data are combined with social science approaches this gives us a very powerful toolkit to respond to the wider effects of climate change on real life scenarios.
At Plymouth I am the personal tutor and leader of the ‘Marine Biology with Foundation Year’ degree, teaching on and designing ‘tailored’ marine biology assessments for the Study Skills module and immersive Marine Biology module linked to this. I also teach on the Marine Biology degree delivering lecturers, seminars and field trips. I hold a PhD in Land crab ecophysiology (University of Bristol, 2010). Prior to this I completed a BSc (University of Wales, Swansea, 2003) and MRes in Marine Biology (molecular and cellular pathway) (University of Plymouth, 2005).
I currently teach on the following modules:
MBIO12 Marine Biology Field Course
I am a comparative ecophysiologist and biochemist who specialises in using interdisciplinary (natural-social science) frameworks to understand the impact of ongoing global change on the marine environment, and to contribute towards sustainable solutions for this. I work across trophic levels, taxonomic groupings and aquatic environments and I often use large-scale integrative approaches to my thinking and research. I integrate biochemistry with molecular biology, whole organism physiology and also more recently with cutting edge ‘omics’ techniques to understand how organisms respond to environmental change, and how this may ultimately influence the functionality of the ecosystem. When these types of data are combined with social science approaches this gives us a very powerful toolkit to respond to the wider effects of climate change on real life scenarios.
For the last few years I have been working on the effects of climate change on toxin producing phytoplankton and harmful bacteria within the context of seafood safety in South Asia. This work has combined ecophysiological multi-trophic experiments with social science approaches to make projections for the effects of this on local people as consumers and producers of these seafood products as protein and/or economic resources. We have several ongoing projects to extend this research to different life stages and further alternative sustainable aquaculture species. Prior to this my research has involved work to understand the biochemical metabolic adaptations of marine invertebrates to marine climate change parameters (e.g.warming, freshening and acidification) in both laboratory experiments and field studies.
My PhD was on the functional biology of Christmas Island land crabs,specifically that of the hormonal control of metabolic and osmotic homeostasis during the annual breeding migration. Later work in collaboration with Parks Australia on Christmas Island has continued to utilise molecular ecology approaches to inform conservation management strategies of these crabs which are ecologically and increasingly economically important species.
Grants & contracts
Turner, L.M., Knight, M.E. & Spicer, J.I. (2018) University of Plymouth Global Challenges Research Fund (£49,000): Is the freshwater crab Barytelphusa cunicularis suitable for use as a sustainable livelihood resource in India?
Turner, L.M., Godhe, A., Edler, L., Turner, A. & Karunasagar, I. (2016) NERC Urgency grant (£65,000): Lessons for the future: Qualifying and quantifying South Asia's first widespread ciguatera poisoning outbreak.
Turner, L.M, Rodwell, L.D., Karunasagar, I., Bhatta, R. & Godhe, A. (2016) Plymouth University PhD studentship (£65,000): Identifying barriers to small-scale crustacean aquaculture in South Asia.
Turner, L.M. & Calosi, P. (2014) NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility (£4,000): ‘Identify the metabolomics basisfor adaptation to ocean acidification in a marine polychaete living around a shallow water CO2 vent system’
Calosi, P. & Turner, L.M. (2012) ASSEMBLE (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories) (£8,000): ‘Identify the Mechanistic Basis for Metabolic Adaptation to Ocean Acidification using a shallow CO2 vent system (MetabolAdapt)’
Turner, L.M. (2011) British Ecological Society (£2,500) 'Roles of crustacean hyperglyceamic hormone in ionic and metabolic homeostasis in two related Christmas Island (CI) land crab species, the CI Red crab Gecarcoidea natalis and the CI Blue crab, Discoplax hirtipes' '
Turner, L.M. (2011) Society of Experimental Biology/Company of Biologists Travel Fund (£500) 'Hormonal control of osmoregulation in land crabs'
Turner, L.M. (2009) Parks Australia, Christmas Island (£750) ‘Phylogeography of Discoplax hirtipes on Christmas Island'
Turner, L.M. (2005) Malacological Society Research Grant (£500) 'Polyphyly across oceans: a molecular phylogeny of the Chromodorididae (Mollusca,Nudibranchia)'
Small, D.P., Calosi, P., Rastrick, S.P.S., Turner, L.M., Widdicombe, S., & Spicer, J.I. (2020) The effects of elevated temperature and PCO2 on the energetics and haemolymph pH homeostasis of juveniles of the European lobster, Homarus gammarus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 223, jeb209221.
Turner, L.M., Havenhand, J.N., Alsterberg, C., Turner, A.D., Girisha, S.K., Rai, A., Venugopal, M.N., Karunasagar, I. & Godhe, A. (2019) Toxic algae silence physiological responses to multiple climate drivers in a tropical marine food chain. Frontiers in Physiology, 10, 373.
Collins, M., Tills, O., Turner, L.M., Clark, M.S., Spicer, J.I. & Truebano, M. (2019) Moderate reductions in dissolved oxygen may compromise performance in an ecologically important estuarine invertebrate. Science of the Total Environment, 693, 133444.
Apine, E., Turner, L.M., Rodwell, L.D. & Bhatta, R. (2019) The application of the sustainable livelihood approach to small scale-fisheries: The case of mud crab Scylla serrata in South west India. Ocean and Coastal Management, 170, 17-28.
Venello, T.A., Calosi, P., Turner, L.M., & Findlay, H.S. (2018) Overwintering individuals of the Arctic krill Thysanoessa inermis appear tolerant to short term exposure to low pH conditions. Polar Biology, 41, 341-352.
Turner, A.D., Dhanji-Rapkova, M., Rowland-Pilgrim, S., Turner, L.M., Rai, A., Venugopal, M.N., Karunasagar, I. & Godhe, A. (2017) Assessing the presence of marine toxins in bivalve molluscs from Mangalore, southwest India. Toxicon, 140, 147-156.
Turner, L.M., Bhatta, R., Eriander, L., Gipperth, L., Johannesson, K., Kadfak, A., Karunasagar, I., Karunasagar, I., Knutsson, P., Moksnes, P.-O. & Godhe, A. (2017) Transporting ideas between marine and social sciences: experiences from interdisciplinary research programs. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 5, 14.
Calosi, P., Melatunan, S., Turner, L.M., Artioli, Y., Davidson, R.L., Byrne, J.J., Viant, M.R., Widdicombe, S. & Rundle, S.D. (2017) Regional adaptation defines sensitivity to future ocean acidification. Nature Communications, 8, 13994.
Bennett, K.A., Turner, L.M., Millward, S., Moss, S.E.W. & Hall, A.J. (2017) Obtaining accurate glucose measurements from wild animals under field conditions: comparing a hand held glucometer with a standard laboratory technique in grey seals. Conservation Physiology, 5, cox013.
Bilton, D.T., Turner, L.M. & Foster, G.N. (2017) Frequent discordance between morphology and mitochondrial DNA in a species group of European water beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). PeerJ, 5, e3076.
Turner, L.M., Alsterberg, C., Turner, A.D., Girisha, S.K., Rai, A., Havenhand, J.N., Venugopal, M.N., Karunasagar, I. & Godhe, A. (2016) Pathogenic marine microbes influence the effects of climate change on a commercially important tropical bivalve. Scientific Reports, 6, 32413.
Turner, L.M., Ricevuto, E., Massa Gallucci, A., Lorenti, M., Gambi, M.-C. & Calosi, P. (2016) Metabolic responses to high pCO2 conditions at a CO2 vent site in juveniles of a marine isopod species assemblage. Marine Biology, 163, 211.
Turner, L.M., Ricevuto, E., Massa Gallucci, A., Gambi, M.-C. & Calosi, P. (2015) Energy metabolism and cellular homeostasis trade-offs provide the basis for a new type of sensitivity to ocean acidification in a marine polychaete at a high CO2 vent: adenylate and phosphagen energy pools vs. carbonic anhydrase. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218, 2148-2151.
Turner, L. M. (2014, invited) Salt and water balance in the land crabs of Christmas Island: A review. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (A special supplement of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology: The Christmas Island and Cocos-Keeling Islands: Biodiversity and management challenges), S30, 97-108.
Heilveil, J.S., LaPilusa, T.L. & Turner, L.M. (2014) Characterization of microsatellite markers from the commodity species Cardisoma guanhumi Latreille and the Christmas Island blue crab (Discoplax celeste). Conservation Genetics Resources, 6, 99-101.
Calosi, P., Turner, L.M., Hawkins, M., Bertolini, C., Nightingale, G., Truebano-Garcia, M. & Spicer, J.I. (2013) Multiple physiological responses to multiple environmental challenges: An individual approach. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 53, 660-670.
Ellis, J.S., Turner, L.M. & Knight, M.E. (2013) Lack of variation at phosphoglucose isomerase (pgi) in bumblebees: implications for conservation genetics studies. PLOS ONE, 8, e65600.
Turner, L.M., Webster, S.G. & Morris, S. (2013) Roles of crustacean hyperglycaemic hormone in ionic and metabolic homeostasis in the Christmas Island Blue crab Discoplax celeste. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216, 1191-1201.
Turner, L.M., Hallas, J.P., Smith, M. & Morris, S. (2013) Phylogeography of the Christmas Island Blue Crab, Discoplax celeste(Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. The Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 93, 703-714.
Ellis, J.S., Turner, L.M. & Knight, M.E. (2012) Patterns of selection and polymorphism of innate immunity genes in bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Genetica, 140, 205-217.
Turner, L.M. & Wilson, N.G. (2012) The Chelidonura tsurugensis-sandrana (Cephalaspidea) species complex – do reproductive decisions maintain colour polymorphism? Journal of Molluscan Studies, 78, 166-172.
Turner, L.M., Hallas, J.P. & Morris, S. (2011) Population structure of the Christmas Island Blue Crab, Discoplax hirtipes (Decapoda: Gecarcinidae) on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 31, 450-457.
Morris, S., Postel, U., Turner, L.M., Palmer, J., Mrinalini & Webster, S.G. (2010) The adaptive significance of crustacean hyperglycaemic hormone (CHH) in daily and seasonal migratory activities of the Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213, 3062-3073.
Turner, L.M. & Wilson, N.G. (2008) Polyphyly across oceans: a molecular phylogeny of the Chromodorididae (Mollusca, Nudibranchia). Zoologica Scripta, 37, 23-42.
Turner, L. M. (2015, invited) Physiological adaptations to the environment in Brachyura. In Treatise on Zoology: The Brachyura. Edited by P. Castro, P. J. F. Davie, D. Guinot, F. R. Schram & J. C. Vaupel Klein
Other academic activities
I review articles for PLoS One, the Journal of Comparative Physiology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Marine Ecology, Journal of Experimental Zoology, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, Journal of Crustacean Biology, Aquaculture Research, Caribbean Journal of Science and North American Journal of Aquaculture.