Kim Last

Doctor

  • United Kingdom

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
19992021

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Personal profile

Research expertise

I am interested in the effects of human activities on marine organisms at behavioural and physiological levels.

As humans change the face of our planet so animals have to adapt or go extinct – I hope even in a small way to help avoid the latter.

Underlying my work is a fascination of clock biology or chronobiology i.e. how animals tell the time. This has led me from studying the chronobiology of worms in muddy estuaries to zooplankton across the entire Arctic Ocean – I have surprisingly found that both demonstrate an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time.  

I see myself as a 'practical' scientist and enjoy answering difficult questions by developing new technologies, often in very hostile places, in order to better link the biology with the physics of the natural environment.

Consultancy and industry experience

I have led a number of commercial projects over the last ten years with a value totaling >£600K. Initial work focused on assessing the consequences of anthropogenic sediments from aggregate dredging on benthic macroinvertebrates (funded by the MALSF programme). As part of this a novel mesocosm was built, the Vortex Resuspension Tank (VORTs), with the capacity to simulate sediment plumes. Using this system two further projects (SabSPIN / SabALV) were commissioned, this time assessing the impacts of seawater chlorination on sensitive and protected biogenic reef habitats. Following this, four further projects (TROMyt1-4) were commissioned by CEFAS/EDF Energy all aimed at determining the impact of chlorination/sediment on the fouling blue mussel. Collectively these projects have provided highly relevant and scientifically robust data to the marine aggregate industry (where the UK is the largest producer in the world) and a multi-billion pound new UK nuclear power station development. The VORT mesocosms were also used as part of a large multi-partner study (MaREE) to assess the impacts of sediment from the marine renewable industry.

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