I obtained my undergraduate degree in Zoology from Cardiff University where my final year project focused on dietary conservatism in birds, supervised by Dr Rob Thomas. I then went on to a PhD, also at Cardiff University, funded by NERC on the host specificity and local adaption of gyrodactylids, supervised by Professor Jo Cable (Cardiff University) and Professor Phil Harris (University of Oslo). My PhD research examined host specificity of Gyrodactylus turnbulli and G. bullatarudis infecting the guppy and found that G. turnbulli is able to infect a range of hosts under both laboratory and semi-natural conditions, together with identifying different transmission strategies of these two species, which are affected by temperature. Arising from these host specificity studies was the discovery that G. lomi, a species infecting chub, could persist as long-term infections on isolated fish, and a new gyrodactylid species from zebrafish. Local adaptation theory was examined for G. gasterostei infecting the three-spined stickleback comparing populations from England with a population from the Hebridean Islands. My research ascertained that Hebridean host populations were no more susceptible to G. gasterostei than their mainland counterparts but that sticklebacks have a much longer immunological memory than previously considered.
On being awarded my PhD in 2008, I left academia, working in local government before joining the University of Oxford, primarily as Admin Manager for the Biomedical Ultrasonics, Biotherapy and Biopharmaceuticals Laboratory (BUBBL) and Programme Manager for the Oxford Centre for Drug Delivery Devices (OxCD3). I then moved to the charity sector before moving to my current position as Assistant Chief Executive for the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA).
Position: Assistant Chief Executive
Organisation: Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association
King, T.A. and Cable, J. (2007). Experimental infections of the monogenean Gyrodactylus turnbulli indicate that it is not a strict specialist. International Journal for Parasitology 37, 663-672.
King, T.A., Harris, P.D. and Cable, J. (2008). Long-term Gyrodactylus lomi infections on isolated juvenile chub, Leuciscus cephalus. Journal of Parasitology 94, 1426-1427.
King, T.A., van Oosterhout, C. and Cable, J. (2009). Experimental infections with the tropical monogenean, Gyrodactylus bullatarudis: Potential invader or experimental fluke? Parasitology International, 58, 249-254.
Thomas, R.J. King, T.A., Forshaw, H.E., Marples, N.M., Speed, M.P. and Cable, J. (2010). The response of fish to novel prey: evidence that dietary conservatism is not restricted to birds. Behavioural Ecology, 21, 669-675.