water@leeds Student Spotlight April 2020: Stephanie Bradbeer

Our monthly series spotlighting the work and lives of the next generation of water@leeds researchers

Stephanie Bradbeer

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Supervisors: Dr Alison Dunn, Dr Claire Quinn


Tell us a bit about yourself:

Born and raised in Bristol, prior to coming to Leeds I completed my BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter (w/study abroad at Montana State University) and my MSc at the University of Bristol. Outside of work I enjoying hiking, gardening and playing hockey.

Why did you choose Leeds University?

I have had an interest in the impacts and management of invasive species ever since seeing for myself the drastic way one particular invasive, the lionfish, effects the ecosystem and economy in the Caribbean. Since then I have sought to work in the field of invasion science. Firstly this lead me to complete my MSc studying the hybridisation between invasive and native endangered fish species in Tanzanian freshwaters. This cemented my interest in invasive species research. Whilst the quantification of impacts is imperative to justify environmental management, my interests have now broadened to consider how we manage invasive species in our environment. This is the focus of my PhD, and what brought me to the Leeds.

What is your research about?

Preventing the introduction of invasive species is considered the most economic and environmentally favourable management strategy. My PhD work is case partnered with the Environment Agency and South West Water and focuses on furthering our understanding of preventative measures, termed ‘biosecurity’, through laboratory and field experiments. Furthermore, I assess stakeholders’ awareness and attitudes surrounding biosecurity and the impact of biosecurity training.  Recently I published my first paper from the PhD in Scientific Reports which assessed the effectiveness of disinfectants and steam to prevent the spread of the invasive killer shrimp. My PhD shall feed into our biosecurity understanding and inform national guidelines surrounding practical and effective biosecurity for a range of stakeholders.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to remain within invasive species research and/or management. I have enjoyed working with a range of stakeholders and the general public to highlight the importance of invasive species management and biosecurity throughout my PhD and very much look forward to future challenges.