Chris Richardson BSc PhD (Wales)
CAMS Role: Academic Assoicate
I am a Professor in Marine Biology at Bangor University's School of Ocean Sciences. In 1975 I completed a BSc in Marine Biology and Zoology here and in 1979 a PhD, jointly in the NERC Marine Invertebrate Biology unit in Menai Bridge and in the Zoology Department at Bangor. My PhD thesis was entitled "The effect of environmental factors on the shell of the cockle, Cerastoderma edule" under the supervision of Professor D.J. Crisp CBE. FRS. and Dr N.W. Runham. I have been a SERC and NERC postdoctoral fellow and a Special NERC fellow before being appointed to a junior lectureship in 1990. I was promoted to Reader in 2002, Professor in 2007 and Head of the School of Ocean Sciences from May 2011 until July 2016.
My research interests focus on the growth, behaviour, physiology and reproduction of marine molluscs. I am particularly interested in the incremental growth of bivalve and gastropod shells and I am studying the mechanism of formation of semi-diurnal, diurnal and annual microgrowth patterns in bivalve shells. I have been investigating the use of mollusc shells as archives of environmental contamination. Using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) (studies in collaboration with the British Geological Survey) it has been possible to show that horse mussel, Modiolus modiolus shells contain a record of changes in the heavy metal content of the North Sea. Mussel, Mytilus trossulus shells growing in close proximity to effluent discharges from Kraft Pulp mills in Canada contain a different chemical signature to mussels growing distant from sites of discharge. The shells of razor clams and dog cockles damaged by fishing gears contain a record of the frequency of damage. Recent ecological research has focussed on the feeding behaviour of the predatory burrowing starfish Astropecten irregularis and the necklace shell Polinices catenus and the impact these species have on benthic community structure.