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Freshwater invertebrate ecology and ecotoxicology.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Freshwater invertebrates are used as models to measure the impact of pollution. Toxicity tests are conducted under set, ideal conditions and do not necessarily reflect interactions in the environment. Previous work has shown that both chemical mixtures and water chemistry can have profound impacts on the toxicity of chemicals. This can be studied at multiple levels, looking at life history, toxicity, biochemistry and gene expression.
The supervisor has published extensively on insecticide resistance mechanisms in mosquitoes, biochemical and molecular biomarkers of pollution and ecotoxicology of freshwater invertebrates. Reading can offer facilities for molecular, biochemical and toxicological work and has appropriate controlled temperature rooms and fieldwork facilities, including mesocosms. The supervisor has experience working with Daphnia, Culex mosquitoes, Chironomids, beetles, moths and aphids. She currently supervises PhD students working on urban mosquito ecology, urban ponds and Daphnia ecotoxicology. For a full list of her publications, please go to her website.

The applicant should have a university degree in zoology, biology, biochemistry, toxicology or a related field.

Funding Notes

We have a thriving community of UK and International PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students of any nationality either able to fund their own studies or who wish to apply for their own funding.

Please note that there are no studentships being offered for this research area by the University of Reading.


Some recent papers:
Townroe, S. and Callaghan, A. (2015) Morphological and fecundity traits of Culex mosquitoes caught in gravid traps in urban and rural Berkshire, UK. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 105, 1-6.
Townroe, S. and Callaghan, A. (2014) British container breeding mosquitoes: The impact of urbanisation and climate change on community composition and phenology. PLOS One, 9 (4), e95325
Gbaye, O., Holloway, G.J. and Callaghan, A. (2012) Variation in the sensitivity of Callosobruchus (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) acetylcholinesterase to the organophosphate insecticide malaoxon: effect of species, geographical strain and food type. Pest Management Science, 68 (9). pp. 1265-1271.
Pereira, JL, Hill, CJ, Sibly, RM, Bolshakov, VN, Gonçalves, F, Heckmann LH and Callaghan, A. (2010). Gene transcription in Daphnia magna: effects of acute exposure to a carbamate insecticide and an acetanilide herbicide. Aquatic Toxicology, 97, 268-276.
Heckmann, L.H., Timmermans, M.J.T.N., Sibly, R.M. and Callaghan, A. (2008) Outlining eicosanoid biosynthesis in the model crustacean Daphnia. Frontiers in Zoology, 5, 11. doi:10.1186/1742-9994-5-11
Biehl Printes, L., Fellowes, M.D.E. and Callaghan, A. (2008). Clonal variation in acetylcholinesterase biomarkers and life history traits following OP exposure in Daphnia magna . Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 71, 519-526.

How good is research at University of Reading in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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