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Department of Zoology


I have recently completed my undergraduate degree (BA Biological Sciences) at the University of Oxford and am now undertaking my masters (MPhil Zoology) in David Aldridge's lab. My research aims to investigate the impacts of microplastic pollution on freshwater mussel health and ecosystem functioning. For this, we will use native unionid mussels (Unio tumidus) to investigate the impact of polyethelyne microplastic pollution on clearance rate, nutrient cycling, functional response, and mussel health. This work will inform on the use of mussels of bioindicators for ecosystem health and the impacts of increasing plastic pollution on ecosystem functioning. I will also collaborate with our postdoc Dr Zara-Louise Cowan to investigate whether we can use mussels to remove microplastics from water. 

Mussels have widely been used in biological early warning systems and in biomonitoring and metabolomics offers an accurate assessment of the real biological effects of pollutant exposure. This gives a tool that may play a pertinent role in biomonitoring ecosystems in the face of increased anthropogenic environmental demands.



Key publications: 

Burivalova, Z.,  Allnutt, T., Rademacher, D., Schlemm, A., Wilcove, D.S., Butler, R. (2019). What works in tropical forest conservation, and what does not: Effectiveness of four strategies in terms of environmental, social, and economic outcomes. Conservation Science and Practice doi:10.1111/csp2.28

Oberhauser, F.B., Schlemm, A., Wendt, S. et al. (2019). Private information conflict: Lasius niger ants prefer olfactory cues to route memory. Animal Cognition