Mr Ziad Ibbini
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
PhD Marine Science (2020-)
Project title: Assessing Sensitivity to Fluctuating Temperatures in Marine Animals.
Supervised by Dr Oliver Tills, Dr Manuela Truebano and Dr John Bishop.
BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology (2019)
Research interestsI am fascinated by the integration of computational approaches within biological research. Of particular interest to me is the field of phenomics, whereby current technologies such as machine vision and deep learning, are being used to enable the development of platforms for high dimensional organismal phenotyping (HDOP).
Using a novel HDOP platform developed by Dr Oliver Tills at the University of Plymouth (EmbryoPhenomics), my PhD aims to investigate the impact of fluctuating thermal environments on different life history stages of the sea squirt, Ciona intestinalis. Though fluctuating thermal environments are known to better reflect the natural temperature conditions that most animals experience, the majority of existing work has focused on static thermal environments. This is becoming more pressing to explore given that with climate change, marine animals are expected to experience not only an increase in mean sea surface temperatures, but also an increase in the frequency and intensity of thermal extremes. To address this, I will be using the EmbryoPhenomics platform to both simulate fluctuating thermal regimes and screen different life history stages on a high throughput basis. This will then be coupled with the usage of novel image analysis workflows to enable the quantification of not only traditional phenotypic traits, but also proxy traits for which there is no manual equivalent. The outputs of these analyses will enable the measurement of life history stage specific responses on an organism-wide scale, furthering our understanding of how marine invertebrates will be impacted by future climate change.