Dr Simon Cragg
Reader in Zoology
School of Biological Sciences
Institute of Marine Sciences Laboratories
Simon studied Zoology with Marine Zoology at Bangor, then moved just across the Menai Straits to work at the NERC Unit of Marine Invertebrate Biology headed by Professor Dennis Crisp FRS, where he completed a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jim Nott and Dr. Llyr Gruffydd on the sense organs and behaviour of scallop larvae.
He then took up a post as a Scientific Officer working on marine wood borers at the Forest Products Research Centre in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. While investigating the natural habitats of these organisms, he developed an interest in the ecology of these large and virtually pristine PNG mangrove ecosystems, leading to an active role in the UNESCO Regional Mangrove Programme. He became acting Officer in Charge at the Centre and Assistant Secretary (Utilisation), combined roles which required him to advise on Department of Forests policy.
In 1985 he returned to the UK as a Research Fellow at Portsmouth Polytechnic, collaborating with Dr. Rod Eaton and to conduct research on the wood-boring crustacean Sphaeroma funded by the Wellcome Trust.
In 1990 he took up a post as a Principal Lecturer at Buckinghamshire College, where he established a research centre on wood utilisation and coordinated a European Union-funded project assessing the effects of wood protection chemicals in marine ecosystems. He became Professor of Wood Science.
The opportunity in 1997 to return to his first love of marine biology led him to take up a Principal Lecturer post at the University of Portsmouth, based at the Institute of Marine Sciences. He has developed his work on marine wood boring invertebrates there, collaborating with Dr. Matt Guille, to examine the enzymatic breakdown of wood by the crustacean Limnoria supported by Leverhulme Trust funding. This has led to the development of a rapid method for evaluating new wood protective treatments and of the natural durability of a wide range of less well known tropical timbers. He has also contributed to a Darwin Initiative project on biodiversity in the mangrove ecosystems of Sri Lanka. He is responsible for the Electron Microscope Unit which gives him the opportunity to work with his team on the intricacies of the anatomy of his chosen organisms.
In 2009 he was appointed Reader in Zoology. This year saw the start of a £27M BBSRC research programme on second generation biofuels in which he is principal investigator for the University of Portsmouth component.
- Member of editorial board of Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
- Journal of Molluscan Studies
- Journal of Shellfish Science
- International Wood Products Journal.
- Marine wood borers: the isopod Limnoria, teredinids (shipworms, Bivalvia) and the weevil Pselactus
- Wood protection in the sea
- Teredinid and other bivalve larvae: anatomy and behaviour
- Borer-microorganism interactions:
- ecology of epibiosis of ciliates on limnoriid exoskeletons
- microorganisms in guts of borers
- The role of marine wood borers in maintaining biodiversity in mangrove ecosystems
- Application of ecological understanding to management of mangrove ecosystems
- Tropical marine ecology, particularly of mangrove and coral ecosystems
- Life history strategies in the sea
- Invertebrate larval biology
- Plankton and meiofauna
- Invertebrate zoology
Publications Before 2008
- Papadopoulos, A. N., Duquesnoy, P., Cragg, S. M. and Pitman, A. J. (2008) The resistance of wood modified with linear chain carboxylic acid anhydrides to attack by the marine wood borer Limnoria quadripunctata Holthius. Int. Biodet. Biodeg. 61: 199-202.
- Borges, L. M. S., Cragg, S. M., Bergot, J., Williams, J. R., Shayler, B. and Sawyer, G. S. (2008) Laboratory screening of tropical hardwoods for natural resistance to the marine borer Limnoria quadripunctata with an investigation of the role of leachable and non-leachable factors. Holzforschung 62: 99-111.
- Cragg, S. M. (2007) Marine wood boring invertebrates of New Guinea and its surrounding waters. In: The Ecology of Papua, ed. B. M. Beehler & A. J. Marshall. Periplus, Singapore, pp539-563.
- Cragg, S. M., Danjon, C. and Mansfield-Williams, H. (2007) Contribution of hardness to the natural resistance of a range of wood species to attack by the marine borer Limnoria. Holzforschung 61: 201-206.
- Delgery, C. C., Cragg, S. M., Busch, S. and Morgan, E. (2006) Effects of the epibiotic heterotrich ciliate Mirofolliculina limnoriae and of moulting on faecal pellet production by the wood-boring isopods Limnoria tripunctata and L. quadripunctata. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 334: 165-173.
- Cragg, S. M. (2006) Development, physiology, behaviour and ecology of scallop larvae. In: Scallops: Biology, Ecology and Aquaculture Shumway S.E. and Parsons G. J. (eds) Elsevier, Amsterdam pp45-122.
- Rosenbusch, K. Borges, L. M. S., Cragg, S. M., Rapp, A. O. and Pitman, A. J. (2006) A laboratory assessment of the natural durability of the lesser-utilised species Corynanathe pachyceras Welw. and Glyphaea brevis (Sprengel) Monachino against the marine wood borer Limnoria quadripunctata Holthuis. Int. Biodet. Biodeg. 57: 71-74.
- Goulletquer, P., Wolowicz, M., Latala, A., Brown, C. and Cragg, S.M. (2004) Application of a micro-respirometric volumetric method to respiratory measurements of larvae of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Aquat. Living Resour. 17: 195-200.
- Brown, C. J., Eaton, R. A., Cragg, S. M., Goulletquer, P., Nicolaidou, A., Bebianno, M. J., Icely, J. D., Daniel, G., Nilsson, T., Pitman, A. J. and Sawyer, G. S. (2003) Assessment of effects of chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated timber on non-target benthos by investigation of fouling community development at seven European sites. Arch. Env. Contam. Toxicol. 45: 37-47.
- Cragg, S. M. (2003) Marine wood boring arthropods: ecology, functional anatomy and control measures. In Wood Deterioration and Preservation: Advances in our Changing World. Goodell, B., Nicholas, D. D. and Schultz, T. P. (eds), American Chemical Society, Oxford University Press, pp 272-286.
- Praël, A., Cragg, S. M., Henderson, S. (2001) Behavioural responses of veliger larvae of Crassostrea gigas to leachate from wood treated with copper-chrome-arsenic (CCA): a potential bioassay of sublethal environmental effects of contaminants. J. Shellfish. Res. 20: 267-273.
- Oevering, P., Matthews, B. J., Cragg, S. M. and Pitman, A. J. (2001) Invertebrate biodeterioration of marine timbers above mean sea level along the coastline of England and Wales. Int. Biodeg. Biodet. 47: 175-181.
- Tupper C, Pitman AJ, Cragg SM (2000) Copper accumulation in the digestive caecae of Limnoria quadripunctata Holthius (Isopoda : Crustacea) tunnelling CCA-treated wood in laboratory cultures. Holzforschung 54 (6): 570-576.
- Brown, C. J., Albuquerque, R. M., Cragg, S. M. and Eaton, R. A. (2000) Effects of CCA (copper-chrome-arsenic) preservative treatment on the settlement of calcareous fouling organisms on wood at a range of European sites. Biofouling, 15: 151-164.
Life away from the University
Simon plays cricket with Westbourne Cricket Club in villages across Hampshire and West Sussex. He seeks out art and architecture whenever travelling, with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and more locally the Cass Foundation being particular favourites.