Dr Piero Calosi

Dr Piero Calosi


School of Marine Science and Engineering (Faculty of Science & Environment)


Lecturer in Marine Ecophysiology



November 2012-Present       Invited Lecturer on the ‘Marine Evolution Under Climate Change’ Advanced Course 2013 – CeMEB, University of Gothenburg (Sweden) 1st of August 2012-Present    Lecturer in Marine Ecophysiology Plymouth University (UK) Aug 2008-Present                Visiting Scientist at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK) Aug 2007-July 2012             Research Councils UK Senior Research Fellow Plymouth University(UK) Feb 2006-July 2007              Leverhulme Trust Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Physiological Ecology What determines a species’ geographic range?  Physiology and range size relationships in European diving beetles”. Dr DT Bilton & Prof JI Spicer, Plymouth University (UK)

Nov 2004-Jan 2006             Postdoctoral Researcher “Population genetic and social structure of Southern Hemisphere Long-Finned Pilot Whales”. Dr P Shaw, Royal Holloway University of London (UK)

26th May 2004           PhD in Animal Ecology and Ethology 'Ecophysiology of littoral crustaceans in relation to natural and anthropogenic stress factors and their use in the environmental monitoring'. University of Florence (Italy)

13th December 2000     Laurea (BSc+MSc) in Environmental Ecology 'Heart frequency as an index of environmental stress in littoral amphipods'. Prof A Ugolini & Prof G Chelazzi, University of Florence (Italy). Vote 110/110 - 1st Class, Honours.

Professional membership

SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP & EDITORIAL-REVIEWING ACTIVITY Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2010

Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society since 2008

Society for Experimental Biology
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
British Ecological Society
Marine Biological Association of the UK
Editor: Philosophical Transections of the Royal Society B special issue on ‘The effect of ocean acidification and climate warming on species potential for adaptation and ecological interactions’

Reviewer for :

  • NSF International Research Fellowship Program (USA)
  • Helmholtz-Association of German Research Centres Postdoctoral Programme
  • (Germany)
  • FCT Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia Research Fellowship Program (Portugal)
  • Organisation for Scientific Research - Earth & Life Sciences (Netherlands)
  • Superior Council of the National Fund for Scientific & Technological Development (FONDECYT) (Chile)
  • NRF Research Output Assessments (South Africa)
  • University of Alaska Global Change Student Research Grant Competition

Reviewer for: Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Proceeding of the Royal Society of London B, Journal of Animal Ecology, Functional Ecology, Journal of Experimental Biology, Global Change Biology, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Oikos, Biogeosciences, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Marine Ecology progress series, Oecologia, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Marine Biology, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A, Evolutionary Ecology Research, Journal of Zoology London, Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Journal of Crustacean Biology, Zoology, High Pressure Research, Science of the Total Environment, Environmental Toxicology.


  • Göteborgs Universitet PhD Programme (external examiner)

  • Plymouth University PhD Programme (internal examiner)

  • University of Cape Town Master Programme (external examiner)

  • Teaching interests

    Ecophysiological implications of Ocean Acidification and Global Warming in marine invertebrates

    Invertebrates Macrophysiology

    Evolutionary Physiology

    Biology of Marine Organisms

    Research interests


    My main research focus is the investigation of invertebrates' physiological responses, and the determination of the scope for further adaptation, to multiple global environmental drivers: e.g. warming, acidification, de-oxygenation, reduced salinity.

    I work at different levels of biological complexity (larvae to adult) and compare strains, populations and species living along environmental gradients. I integrate ecophysiology, life-history and functional behaviour, and more recently transcriptomic and metabolomic techniques, to broaden our understanding of the implication of current levels of adaptation in defining taxa vulnerability to a changing environment. Furthermore, I am interested in determining species scope for further physiological adaptation to rapid environmental changes, and whether such adaptation implies physiological and/or fitness consequences, investigating the responses of clonal strains, using laboratory natural selection experiments and carrying out translocation experiments to compare strains and populations inhabiting contrasting environments.



    Macrophysiology of Marine Invertebrates

    Experimental Evolutionary Physiology

    Ecophysiological Implication of Ocean Warming, De-oxygenation, and Acidification in Marine Invertebrates


    Dr Lucy Millicent Turner - Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in Animal Ecophysiology. 'Identify the potential for organisms resistance and adaptation to prolonged exposure to elevated temperature and CO2 and low O2’. Funding Plymouth University.

    Ms Maj Arnberg (first supervisor) - PhD candidate. Project: Combined effects of CO2/acidified seawater, climate change and oil-related discharges on aspects of the development of marine invertebrates. In collaboration with IRIS Stavanger and Kristineberg Marine Station.

    Ms Emilie Hall (first supervisor) - PhD candidate. Project: Vulnerability to Global Change in marine invertebrates living along a latitudinal and depth gradient: Marine Macrophysiology for a Changing Ocean. In collaboration with Aberystwyth University and University of British Columbia.

    Ms Noelle Lucey (second supervisor) - PhD candidate. Project: The challenge of living in a High CO2 World. . Funding FP7 MARES MUNDUS. In collaboration with ENEA Lerici.

    Ms Ruth Bibby Calder-Potts (fourth supervisor) - PhD candidate. Project: Combined effects of hypoxia, high CO2, elevated temperature on benthic biotic communities. Funding NERC. In collaboration with PML.

    Mr Mike Jarrold – Postgraduate Research Assistant. Project: Physiological developmental plasticity and scope for further adaptation in marine worms. Funding: NERC-Defra-DEC and Plymouth University, in collaboration with University of Modena and Reggio-Emilia.

    Ms Leela Chakravarti – Postgraduate Research Assistant. Project: Coelomic fluid homeostasis in sea urchins. Funding: volunteer.

    Ms Evelyn van der Ent – visiting ERASMUS Master Research Project Student. Project: Energy metabolism, shell composition and phylogeographic structure of multiple population of the periwinkle Littorina littorea along the North West European coast thermo-latitudinal gradient. Funding: NERC-Defra-DEC and Erasmus Mundus.

    Ms Ella Guscelli – visiting ERASMUS Master Research Project Student. Project: Coelomic fluid homeostasis in sea urchins. Funding: Plymouth University and Erasmus Mundus.

    Ms Samantha Worthington - Undergraduate Project Student. Project: The effect of ocean acidification on the mineralisation status of the porcelain crabs Porcellana platycheles and Pisidia longicornis.

    Mr Cameron Hird - Undergraduate Project Student. Project: Physiological and life history plasticity of a strain of the polychaete Ophryotrocha labronica adapted to end of the century PCO2 levels and exposed to extremely elevated pCO2 levels.

    Ms Lucy Dunn - Undergraduate Project Student. Project: The plastic response of Littorina littorea larvae exposed to ocean acidification.

    Ms Georgia Hall - Undergraduate Project Student. Project: Does ocean acidification affect the production rate and composition of the proteinaceous tube in the polychaetes Platynereis dumerilii?

    Mr Pascal De Souza - Undergraduate Project Student. Project: The effect of elevated NH4+ on the physiological ecology of marine metazoans.

    [2 PhD completion, 11 MRes/MSc completions, 2 international PhD external examinations, 1 UK PhD external examination, 1 PhD internal examination]



    People Who Passed By Here!

    Dr Daniel Small – PhD student

    Mr Eric Armstrong – visiting PhD candidate.

    Ms Tessa Page – visiting Master Research Student.

    Ms Elize Papineau – visiting Master Research Student.

    Dr Sam Rastrick - NERC Postdoctoral Researcher.
    Dr Chiara Lombardi - visiting Researcher.

    Ms Jennifer Lewis - Master Research Student.

    Ms Rebekah Simpson - Master Research Student.

    Ms Sarah Magozzi - Master Research Student.

    Ms Camilla Campanati - Master Research Student.

    Ms Helen Gowan - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Mr Gregory Nightingale - Undergraduate Project Student

    Mr Jacob Bishop - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Prof Jonathon Stillman - visiting Researcher.

    Ms Hayley Ann Carter - visiting Master Research Student.

    Dr Nathan Miller - visiting Postdoctoral Researcher.

    Dr Sedercor Melatunan – PhD student

    Mr Seth Thomas - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Ms Sarah Marshall - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Mr Mike Jarrold - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Ms Heather Exley - Undergraduate Project Student

    Mr Thomas Greenwood - Undergraduate Project Student

    Ms Isabelle Abbott - Undergraduate Project Student

    Ms Sofia Ferreira - visiting Master Research Student.

    Ms Cristina Coccia - visiting PhD candidate.

    Ms Ines Le Fur - visiting Master Research Student.

    Ms Nadja Christen - Master Research Project Student.

    Ms Elena Aloisio - visiting Master Research Project Student.

    Dr Gloria Massamba-N'Siala - visiting Postdoctoral Researcher.

    Ms Paula Arribas Blazquez - visiting PhD candidate.

    Ms Anneli Stroble - visiting PhD candidate.

    Dr Felix Mark - visiting Research Fellow.

    Ms Jennifer Pistevos - Master Research Project Student.

    Ms Rachel Hale - Master Science Project Student.

    Ms Penelope Donohue - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Mr Jack Billinge - Undergraduate Project Student

    Ms Undergraduate Project Student

    Prof Hans-Otto Pörtner - visiting Research Fellow.

    Mr David Griffith - Undergraduate Project Student.

    Mr David Sanchez - visiting PhD candidate.

    Other research


    since 2011     Dr M Viant ‘Metabolomics responses of range edge populations as a tool to investigate taxa potential future range size shifts and restrictions’.  Environmental Metabolomics Laboratory, University of Birmingham, Birmingham (UK).

    since 2011     Dr M.-C. Gambi ‘Metabolic adaptation and acclimation in marine polychaetes around the CO2 vent of Ischia’.  Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli (Italy).

    since 2011     Prof J Stillman ‘Thermal tolerance and functional genomics responses of larval stage of Pacific and Atlantic porcelain crabs’ Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University, Tiburon (USA).

    since 2010     Dr P Ouellet and D Chabot ‘Assessing the response of the Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) populations to climate change and variability’ Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Mont-Joli (Quebec, Canada).

    since 2010     Dr RK Bechmann ‘The impact of elevated temperature and ocean acidification on the developmental physiology of marine crustaceans’ International Research Institute of Stavanger, Stavanger (Norway).

    since 2009     Dr S Widdicombe and Dr H Findlay ‘The effect of ocean acidification and global warming on marine macro-benthos and macro-benthos assemblages ecophysiological responses’ Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth (UK).

    since 2008     Prof. T. Garland ‘The investigation of the thermal biology of aquatic ectotherms using a phylogenetic approach’ University of California Riverside, Riverside (USA).

    since 2008     Dr J. Bishop and Dr C. Lombardi ‘Life-history trade-offs under environmental challenges’ Marine Biology Association of the U.K. (Plymouth, UK).

    since 2008     Dr H.-O. Pörtner ‘The thermal sensitivity of marine ectotherms and its ecological consequences’ Alfred Wegener Institure (Bremerhaven, Germany).

    Grants & contracts

    SCHOLARSHIPS, AWARDS & GRANTS since 2010 only 2013 Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories - Access Fund ‘In-situ comparative physiology of marine invertebrates vulnerable and tolerant to high-CO2 conditions II’ (SZN Ischia, Naples, Italy) €8,000 2013 Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group Pump Primer Grant £2,000 2013 Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group Research Assistant Allocation (2 months) £4,400 2012-2016 Fondation Total Research Grant ‘Vulnerability to Global Change in marine invertebrates living along latitudinal and depth gradients: Marine Macrophysiology for a Changing Ocean’ €67,000 2012 SICB-SEB support for the organisation of the II Macrophysiology Workshop with Prof. Jonathon Stillman (SFSU/Berkley) (8th January 2013, San Francisco, USA). $4,000 2012 Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group Pump Primer Grant £2,000 2012 PhD funding from FP7 MARES MUNDUS, in collaboration with C. Lombardi (ENEA, Italy) €180,000 2012 PhD funding Marine Institute and School of Marine Science and Engineering (Plymouth University, UK) £65,000 2012 UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme Travel Grant £1,000 2012 Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group Travel Grant £1,000 2012 Ocean Acidification in Benthic Communities – Commonwealth Award UK-USA Partnership £750 2012 Marine Biology and Ecology Research Group Research Assistant Allocation (5 months) £11,000 2012 School of Marine Science and Engineering Pump-Primer Fund £5,000 2011 Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories - Access Fund ‘In-situ comparative physiology of marine invertebrates vulnerable and tolerant to high-CO2 conditions I’ (SZN Ischia, Naples, Italy) €5,200 2011 School of Marine Science and Engineering Pump-Primer Fund £5,000 2010 NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility Grant #475 - 'Does elevated [CO2] compromise thermal safety margins of marine organisms? A metabolomic approach' £15,000 2010 International Governance Strategy Science Program ‘Assessing the response of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) populations to ClimateChange and Variability (international collaborator for Institut Maurice Lamontagne, Canada) $430,000 2010 Ocean Acidification – Commonwealth Development Award UK-USA Partnership £1,700 2010-2013 MedSeA EU OA Research Programme EU FP7 €180,000 2010-2013 UK OA Research Programme NERC-DEC-Defra ‘Impacts of ocean acidification on key benthic ecosystems, communities, habitats, species and life cycles’ £200,000 2010 Marine Biology Research Experience Scheme PU £450