Oliver Tills

Oliver Tills
University of Plymouth | UoP · Marine Biology & Ecology Research Centre (MBERC)

About

42
Publications
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266
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
University of Plymouth

Publications

Publications (42)
Article
Heart function is a key component of whole-organismal physiology. Bioimaging is commonly, but not exclusively, used for quantifying heart function in transparent individuals, including early developmental stages of aquatic animals, many of which are transparent. However, central limitations of many imaging-related methods is a lack of transferabili...
Article
Embryonic development is a complex process involving the co-ordinated onset and integration of multiple morphological features and physiological functions. While the molecular basis of morphological development in embryos is relatively well known for traditional model species, the molecular underpinning of the development of physiological functions...
Article
Thermal stress is a potentially important selective agent in intertidal marine habitats, but the role that thermal tolerance might play in local adaptation across shore height has been underexplored. Northwest Spain is home to two morphologically distinct ecotypes of the periwinkle Littorina saxatilis, separated by shore height and subject to subst...
Article
Full-text available
Background Energy proxy traits (EPTs) are a novel approach to high dimensional organismal phenotyping that quantify the spectrum of energy levels within different temporal frequencies associated with mean pixel value fluctuations from video. They offer significant potential in addressing the phenotyping bottleneck in biology and are effective at id...
Article
There is growing evidence that maternal exposure to environmental stressors can alter offspring phenotype and increase fitness. Here, we investigate the relative and combined effects of maternal and developmental exposure to mild hypoxia (65% and 74% air saturation respectively) on the growth and development of embryos of the marine gastropod Litto...
Article
Coastal ecosystems, including estuaries, are increasingly pressured by expanding hypoxic regions as a result of human activities such as increased release of nutrients and global warming. Hypoxia is often defined as oxygen concentrations below 2 mL O2 L-1. However, taxa vary markedly in their sensitivity to hypoxia and can be affected by a broad sp...
Article
Full-text available
Phenomics has the potential to facilitate significant advances in biology but requires the development of high-throughput technologies capable of generating and analysing high-dimensional data. There are significant challenges associated with building such technologies, not least those required for investigating dynamic processes such as embryonic...
Article
Full-text available
The ability of organisms to respond to predation threat by exhibiting induced defenses is well documented, but studies on the potential mechanistic basis for such responses are scarce. Here, we examine the transcriptomic response to predator kairomones of two functionally distinct developmental stages in embryos of the aquatic snail Radix balthica:...
Chapter
There is a resurgence of interest in using phenotypic plasticity, ‘the environmentally sensitive production of alternative phenotypes by given genotypes’, as a framework in the study of evolutionary biology. The term developmental plasticity describes a more specific strand of investigation dealing with how alterations to developmental processes an...
Article
With both global surface temperatures and the incidence and intensity of extreme temperature events projected to increase, the assessment of species' sensitivities to chronic and acute changes in temperature has become crucial. Sensitivity predictions are based predominantly on adult responses, despite the fact that early life stages may be more vu...
Article
Full-text available
The prevalence of hypoxic areas in coastal waters is predicted to increase and lead to reduced biodiversity. While the adult stages of many estuarine invertebrates can cope with short periods of hypoxia, it remains unclear whether that ability is present if animals are bred and reared under chronic hypoxia. We firstly investigated the effect of mod...
Article
Full-text available
Molluscs are the second most species-rich phylum in the animal kingdom, yet only 11 genomes of this group have been published so far. Here, we present the draft genome sequence of the pulmonate freshwater snail Radix auricularia. Six whole genome shotgun libraries with different layouts were sequenced. The resulting assembly comprises 4,823 scaffol...
Article
Environmental hypoxia is becoming more prevalent in aquatic environments due to eutrophication and climate change. While the ecological and physiological responses of marine animals to hypoxia have received considerable attention, the molecular responses remain largely undetermined. We have assembled a transcriptome for the brackishwater amphipod,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Molluscs are the second most species-rich phylum in the animal kingdom, yet only eleven genomes of this group have been published so far. Here, we present the draft genome sequence of the pulmonate freshwater snail Radix auricularia . Six whole genome shotgun libraries with different layouts were sequenced. The resulting assembly comprises 4,823 sc...
Article
Environmental change can dramatically alter the development of aquatic organisms. While the effect of such change on physiological and morphological ontogenies is becoming clearer, the molecular mechanisms underpinning them are largely unexplored. Characterizing these mechanisms is often limited by the lack of molecular resources. We have applied I...
Article
Full-text available
Small, early life stages, such as zebrafish embryos are increasingly used to assess the biological effects of chemical compounds in vivo. However, behavioural screens of such organisms are challenging in terms of both data collection (culture techniques, drug delivery and imaging) and data evaluation (very large data sets), restricting the use of h...
Article
Intraspecific variation in developmental event timing is common and may be the raw material from which heterochronies (altered timing of developmental events between ancestors and descendants) arise. However, our understanding of how variance in intraspecific developmental event timing is distributed across different hierar- chical, biological leve...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the link between ontogeny (development) and phylogeny (evolution) remains a key aim of biology. Heterochrony, the altered timing of developmental events between ancestors and descendants, could be such a link although the processes responsible for producing heterochrony, widely viewed as an interspecific phenomenon, are still unclear....
Article
Full-text available
Background Motion analysis is one of the tools available to biologists to extract biologically relevant information from image datasets and has been applied to a diverse range of organisms. The application of motion analysis during early development presents a challenge, as embryos often exhibit complex, subtle and diverse movement patterns. A meth...
Article
Heterochrony, altered developmental timing between ancestors and their descendents, has been proposed as a pervasive evolutionary feature and recent analytical approaches have confirmed its existence as an evolutionary pattern. Yet, the mechanistic basis for heterochrony remains unclear and, in particular, whether intraspecific variation in the tim...
Article
The investigation of the altered timing of developmental events is key to understanding evolution. Most empirical investigations of event timing are biased towards studying morphological variation. Recent reviews, however, have attempted to marshal the evidence for the importance of altered timing of physiological events, focusing on such timing sh...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is predicted to increase sea level and cause saline intrusion of coastal freshwaters. This will have consequences for freshwater organisms inhabiting such areas; developmental phenotypic plasticity may facilitate the persistence of freshwater species under such scenarios of increased salinity. Here we investigated developmental plast...

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