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Profile of Antony Smith

Name
Antony Smith
Position
Phd Student
Email
bspc32@bangor.ac.uk
Phone
Location
Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory
School of Natural Sciences
ECW Building, 3rd Floor,
Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK

Biography

I am currently working toward an Msc by Research with the Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Laboratory at Bangor University. Before this I completed a BSc in Marine Science and Zoology at Cornwall College. My final year dissertation was on the hermit crab Clibanarius erythropus which had recently been rediscovered in Cornwall. I was interested in the dynamics of the population and how its ecology compared to our common rocky shore hermit Pagurius bernhardus. My key finding was that recruitment had probably been successful over a sequence of years and that the species had likely been present in Cornwall for several years before its discovery.

Most of my research as an undergraduate was conducted in the field, but I also enjoy the analytical aspects of science. My current research will use existing data to develop a numerical model of the population dynamics of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), which is threatened species of fish found in a handful of lakes in the nearby Snowdonia National Park.

After my MSc I plan on studying for a PhD, hopefully working on a project that combines my main interests of population biology, biogeography, and ocean science.

Research

Arctic char is a salmonid common to deep, cold, oligotrophic lakes of Northern Europe, Russia, and North America. Wales is near to the southern limit of the species distribution and has only three natural extant populations.  My project is specifically focused on the population at Llyn Padarn, which has been badly affected by eutrophication and the construction and operation of a hydro-electric power station. The population has high cultural and conservation value and therefore local stakeholders are keen to improve its status. A management strategy might include restoring the spawning habit, continued stocking of the lake with hatchery bred fish, and regulation of angling activity. My research will develop a population model that will provide insights into the dynamics of the population and be used to simulate different management strategies and compare likely outcomes.

The project is part of the European Union’s Knowledge Economy and Skills Scholarship (KESS) and is funded by my collaborators Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Water.

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