Five year project to study the biological effects of climate change
I’m excited to share that I have been awarded the prestigious five-year 2M EUR ERC-Consolidator grant from the European Research Council (Pending association of UK to Horizon Europe - we’ll see).
Given that there are a lot of such animals, for example fish, frogs, and invertebrates, we really need to know what happens during this critical stage of their development if they are exposed to abrupt changes in their environment such as heat waves.
The MolStressH2O project will answer this question by comparatively studying these molecular processes in three species from different branches in the Tree of Life: a fish, a marine ragworm, and a frog.
It builds upon prior research funding to my lab from the Royal Society, NERC and a University of Hull -funded PhD cluster. It will enable me to consolidate different research questions I have been working on previously, in the framework of a single project.
For example - can these larvae communicate a stressed state to each other via chemicals through the water, which could amplify negative outcomes? How does heat stress influence fundamentally important processes in cells, such as mutation rates? To which extent are these molecular mechanisms similar vs. different in different species which are only distantly related - do they use the same genes to respond to climate stress?
This award will allow me to expand my team of researchers with two postdoc positions and two PhD positions - which will be advertised soon!