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Alice E Lown

Alice Lown

Alice E Lown

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In 2010 I graduated with a first class degree in Marine Biology from Newcastle University where I studied alarm pheromones in the signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus, supervised by Dr. Matthew Bentley. I then completed three months research in Madagascar as an intern with Community Centred Conservtion. Here, I was part of a group studying the shark fin trades of Northern Madagascar and also researching turtle nesting areas.
In 2011 I started my MRes at Swansea University in Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries. My project title was “Adaptive variation and local adaption in brown trout Salmo trutta” supervised by Prof. Carlos Garcia De Leaniz. During this project I was funded by KESS under the European Social Fund and worked with the Environment Agency Wales studying behavioural, colouration and morphological differences of brown trout using digital photography between physically separated populations by natural and anthropogenic barriers on the Tawe and Teifi rivers in South Wales, completing both lab work and field work.
After my MRes I was immediately hired by Dr. Martin Stevens to work as a paid research assistant in his Sensory Ecology team at Cambridge University where we then moved to Exeter University Cornwall campus in 2013. In this role I worked on a BBSRC grant titled “Predator vision and defensive coloration from mechanism to function”. I completed a range of behaviour and antipredator colouration experiments primarily with Carcinus maenas and Gobius paganellus using human visible and UV digital photography to research animal camouflage.

Current research
I am now starting my PhD at Essex University supervised by Dr. Thomas Cameron and Dr. Leanne Appleby Hepburn. My PhD NERC funded under EnvEast and is also partnered with the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority, Essex Wildlife Trust and the Blackwater Oystermen Association and titled “Ecology of the native Oyster (Ostrea edulis): developing best practice for economic and environmental sustainability of an important regional fishery”. It is a CASE (Collaborative awards in Science and engineering) project and it aims to cross borders between academia (University of Essex), government (IFCA), NGOs (Essex Wildlife Trust) and industry (Blackwater Oystermen Association).
The first part of this project will work in close collaboration with the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (the CASE partner). Extensive spatial habitat mapping of the estuary will be undertaken to ascertain location and extent of Special Area of Conservation (SAC) features that coincide with existing oyster populations and the abundances of different predator and competitor species that coincide with current and historical oyster populations.

Stevens, M., Broderick, A. C., Godley, B. J., Lown, A. E., Troscianko, J., Weber, N. & Weber, S. B. (2015). Phenotype – environment matching in sand fleas. Biology Letters. 11: 20150494

Stevens, M., Lown, A.E., & Wood, L.E. (2014) Camouflage and individual variation in shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) from different habitats. PLoS ONE. 9(12):e115586. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115586

Stevens, M., Arenas, L. M. & Lown, A. E. Colour in camouflage, mimicry and warning signalling. In: Elliot, Andrew, Fairchild, Mark and Franklin, Anna (eds.) Handbook of color psychology. Cambridge University Press. (In Press)

Stevens, M., Lown, A.E., & Denton, A.M. (2014). Rockpool gobies change colour for camouflage. PLoS ONE. 9: e110325.
Covered by: National Geographic, Science Daily, IFL Science (15 October 2014), and more

Stevens, M., Lown, A.E., & Wood, L.E. (2014). Colour change and camouflage in juvenile shore crabs Carcinus maenas. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00014

Troscianko, J., Lown, A.E., Hughes, A.E. & Stevens, M. (2013). Defeating crypsis: detection and learning of camouflage strategies. PLoS ONE. 8: e73733.
Covered by: New Scientist, International Business Times, and Science Daily (10 September 2013).

Posters: Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour annual conference (Aberystwyth 2012), International Society for Behavioural Ecology (New York, 2014).

Presentations: Marine Biological Association 9th Postgraduate annual conference (Cork 2012), ExBase (Penryn 2013), CamoCon (Bristol 2013), Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour annual conference (Sheffield 2014).