Dr Alex Ford
School of Biological Sciences
Institute of Marine Sciences Laboratories
Alex studied Biological Sciences as an undergraduate at Plymouth University (1993-1996), followed by an MSc in Environmental Biology at University of Wales Swansea (1997). After spells working as a Nature Conservation Officer, Pollution Control Officer and Turtle Biologist, Alex settled down to a Senior Research Assistant post back in Wales (Swansea University 1991-2001) where he worked on a large European funded project identifying and mapping the epibenthic diversity of the North Sea. A PhD followed at Napier University (Edinburgh) investigating the effects of pollution on the endocrine systems of crustaceans (2001-2004).
On completion of his PhD Alex spent two and a half years lecturing at Napier University (2004-2007) followed by a Senior Research Fellowship post at the UHI Millennium Institute (2007-2008) based in Thurso (N. Scotland). He joined the School of Biological Sciences at Portsmouth University in August 2008, where he is Senior Lecturer in Marine Zoology.
Alex’s research focuses mainly on marine ecology and ecotoxicology. He has particular interests in the diversity and evolution of different reproductive systems found within the Crustacea and what happens when sex determination or sexual differentiation ‘goes wrong’ resulting in intersexuality and gymandromorphism. Ecotoxicological studies have focussed particularly on how novel compounds (endocrine disrupters; nanoparticles; pharmaceuticals) may impact marine invertebrates. Alex has a keen interest in marine parasitology and wonderful ways in which parasites and pollution can alter the physiology, morphology, sex and behaviour of marine organisms. More recently, utilising high-throughput gene sequencing technologies (Roche 454), Alex has been awarded a NERC 454 grant to identify the genes associated with sexual differentiation in amphipods and investigate what genes are being “switched on or off” if a parasite and/or pollution causes a crustacean to changes sex.
- Dr Alison Dunn, University of Leeds, England, UK
- Prof Doug Glazier, Juniata College, Pennsylvania, USA
- Dr Peter Kille, University of Cardiff, Wales, UK
- Dr Irene Martins, University of Coimbra, Portugal
- Prof Judith Smith, University of Leeds, England, UK
- Dr Brita Sundelin, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Publications Before 2008
· Shields, M., Ford A.T., Woolf, D., (2008). Ecological considerations for tidal energy development in Scotland. 10th World Renewable Energy Conference. In press.
· Ford, A.T. (2008). Can you feminise a crustacean? Aquatic Toxicology, 88(4), 316-321
· Ford, A.T., Sambles C., Kille P. (2008). Intersexuality in crustaceans: genetic, individual and population level effects. Marine Environmental Research, 66(1), 146-148
· Yang, G., Kille, P., Ford, A.T., (2008). Infertility in a marine crustacean: Have we been ignoring pollution impacts on male invertebrates?, Aquatic Toxicology, 88(1), 81-87
· Ford A. T. & Glazier D.S. (2008). Persistently high levels of intersexuality in male-biased amphipod populations. Zoology, 111, 401-409.
· Sundelin, B., Eriksson Wiklund, A‐K., and Ford, A. T. (2008). Biological effects of contaminants: the use of embryo aberrations in amphipod crustaceans for measuring effects of environmental stressors. ICES Techniques in Marine Environmental Sciences No. 41. 21 pp.
· Stone, V, Kinloch, I, Clift, M, Teresa Fernandes, Ford , A, Christofi, N, Alex Griffiths, A & Donaldson, K. (2007c). Nanoparticle Toxicology and Ecotoxicology: The Role of Oxidative Stress. In: Nanotoxicology, (eds.Y. Zhao and HS Nalwa). American Scientific Publishers.
· Ford A.T., Read, P.A, Jones T.L., Michino, F., Pang, Y., Fernandes, T.F. (2007b). An investigation into intersex amphipods and a possible association with aquaculture. Marine Environmental Research, 64(4), 443-455.
· Ford A.T., Martins, I., Fernandes, T.F. (2007a). Population level effects of intersexuality in the marine environment. Science of the Total Environment. 374, 102-111.
· Stone V., Fernandes T. F., Ford A.T. & Christofi N. (2006b). Suggested strategies for the ecotoxicology testing of nanoparticles. MRS proceedings. 895, S1-6.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes T.F., Read P.A., Robinson C.D., & Davies I.M. (2006a). Can pollution cause intersexuality in the amphipod, Echinogammarus marinus? Marine Pollution Bulletin. 53, 100-106.
· Fernandes, T., Rosenkranz, A., Ford, A., Christofi, N., Stone V., (2006c). Ecotoxicology of Nanoparticles (NPs). SETAC Globe: Learned Discourses Sept – Oct, 43-45.
· Lang et al. (2005d). A scoping study to identify hazard data needs for addressing the risks presented by nanoparticles and nanotubes. Edinburgh: Institute of Occupational Medicine. DEFRA report, pp 137.
· Ford A.T., Rodgers-Gray T.P., Davies I.M., Dunn A., Read P.A., Smith J.E., Robinson C.D., & Fernandes T.F. (2005c). Abnormal gonadal morphology in intersex, Echinogammarus marinus (Amphipoda): A possible cause of reduced fecundity? Marine Biology. 148, 913-918.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes, T.F. (2005b). Notes on the occurrence of intersex in amphipods. Hydrobiologia. 548(1), 313-318.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes, T.F. (2005a). Better the devil you know? A precautionary approach to using Amphipods and Daphniids in endocrine disruptor studies. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 24(5), 1019-1021.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes T.F., Rider S.A., Read P.A., Robinson C.D., & Davies I.M. (2004a). Endocrine disruption in a marine amphipod? Field observations of intersexuality and de-masculinisation. Marine Environmental Research. 58, 169-173.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes T.F., Read P.A., Robinson C.D., & Davies I.M. (2004b). The costs of intersexuality: A crustacean perspective. Marine Biology. 145, 951-957.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes T.F., Rider S.A., Read P.A., Robinson C.D., & Davies I.M. (2003a) Reproduction in the amphipod, Echinogammarus marinus: a comparison between normal and intersex specimens. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K., 83, 937-940.
· Ford A.T., Fernandes T.F., Rider S.A., Read P.A., Robinson C.D., & Davies I.M. (2003b). Measuring sublethal impacts of pollution on reproductive output in marine Crustacea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 265, 303-309.
· Callaway, R., Alsvag, J., de Boois, I., Cotter, J., Ford, A., Hinz, H., Jennings, S., Kroncke, I., Lancaster, J., Piet, G., Prince, P., and Ehrich, S. (2002). Diversity and community structure of epibenthic invertebrates and fish in the North Sea. - ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59: 1199-1214.
· Zühlke, R. & Alvsvåg, J. & Boois, I. de & Cotter, J. & Ford, A. & Hinz, H. & Jarre-Teichmann, A. & Jennings, S. & Kröncke, I. & Lancaster, J. & Piet, G. & Prince, P.: Epibenthic biodiversity in the North Sea. In: Kröncke, I. & Türkay, M. & Sündermann, J. (eds), Burning issues of North Sea Ecology, Proceedings of the 14th International Senckenberg Conference North Sea 2000. Senckenbergiana Maritima, 32: 107-115.
- NERC Molecular Facilities Grant, £8000. Transcriptomic 454 analysis of normal and intersex amphipods. (2008-2009).
- UHI Millennium Institute Studentship, £60,000. Endocrine disruption in Crustacea: Linking genes to physiology. (2007-2010).
- British Council, £1000. Population level effects of intersexuality in amphipods. (2006,2007).
- Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities, £2000. Intersexuality in Cave amphipods (2007)
- Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities, £2000. Intersexuality in Gammarus minus (2005)
- British Ecological Society, £2500. Intersexuality in Gammarus minus (2005)
- Marine Biology/Ecology
- Marine Ecophysiology
Fellow of Linnean Society
British Ecological Society