Dr Vicky Sleight

Principal Investigator
Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology (Associate Professor = USA equiv. )

Vicky is in love with evolution and development – aka “evo-devo”. Through a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral experiences she has found her way to marine invertebrates and seashells as an inspiring and powerful system to understand fundamental questions in animal evolution and development. Vicky earned a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Heriot-Watt University and the British Antarctic Survey. She held a Junior Research Fellowship from Wolfson College in the Department of Zoology at University of Cambridge (2017-2020) and two Whitman Center Fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, USA (summers 2018 & 2019).

PhD Students:
Danielle Jordan

Danielle is a PhD student in the EASTBIO DTP studying calcium transport mechanisms in shellfish biomineralization using CRISPR-cas9 genome editing. She earned her BSc in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island in the United States, and then worked as a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. There, she used CRISPR-cas9 to study the evolution of sex chromosomes in the Xenopus genus and making CRISPR mutants as models for human disease. Her research with the Sleight lab blends her love of invertebrate developmental biology and genetics. 

Outside of research, Danielle enjoys diving, hiking, yoga, and reading an obscene amount of books. 

Molly Rivers

Molly is a PhD student in the Sleight Lab researching the developmental pathways behind superior resilience to ocean acidification of an invasive slipper snail (Crepidula fornicata). She studied her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at the University of Plymouth. After graduating with a keen interest in research she worked as a research assistant for Nekton, a deep-sea research charity based in Oxford. During this time she gained research experience at sea and in the lab. After several years working in research and wanting to pursue this career she moved to Newfoundland, Canada, to study for her master’s in marine biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her MSc research focussed on the behavioural ecology and temperature tolerance of the invasive European green crab (Carcinus maenas). After realising ecology was not her research passion, she followed her love for lab work and evolutionary biology to find her home with the Sleight Lab. 


Angus Taylor (UHI/SAMS)

Angus is a PhD student in the SUPER DTP, based primarily at University of the Highlands and Islands/Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban with primary supervisor Dr Helena Reinardy. His research looks at the multistressor impacts of ocean acidification on the biomineralisation and regeneration of coastal sea urchins. After gaining is BSc in Biological Sciences from Heriot-Watt University, he spent the next 7 years working in aquarium laboratories: first as a technician in a biomedical zebrafish facility at the University of Edinburgh; and then as a research technician in a radioecology laboratory for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco. His research there used novel radiotracer techniques to investigate climate stressors, primarily microplastics and ocean acidification, on a wide range of marine species from algae to cuttlefish. His current research links ecology and molecular biology to understand the mechanisms of regeneration and biomineralisation in urchins, within an environmental context.

Camilo Muñoz Schuler

Camilo is a PhD student on the EASTBIO DTP, his research focuses on unravelling haematopoiesis in molluscs using single-cell RNA sequencing. Camilo uses the gastropod Crepidula fornicata as a system to elucidate the connection between haemocytes and biomineralization during developmental stages. Camilo obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Concepcion (Chile) and during his thesis he studied different aspects of biomineralization in the bivalve Crassostrea gigas. Following graduation, he worked as a research assistant/lab manager in an environmental microbiology lab at University of Concepcion in 2022 and as a technician in an electron microscopy facility at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 2023. Camilo’s passion for molluscs and his curiosity for understanding the relationship between haemocytes and biomineralization that he observed during his undergraduate research has brought him to the Sleight lab to pursue exciting new questions and discoveries.





Research Assistants & Technicians:
BSU Animal Technicians

The Sleight Lab is very grateful for the University of Aberdeen team of technicians from the Biological Services Unit (BSU) who look after the aquarium!

Undergraduate & Masters Project Students:
Kiera Malham (Hons student)

Headshot of Kiera

Kiera is a Zoology undergraduate student with an interest in developmental genomics. Kiera’s research is investigating the development of GABAergic neurons in Crepidula fornicata and she wants to pursue a career in genomics research after graduation.

Lucy Wright (Hons student)

Lucy is a Zoology undergraduate student. Prior to university, she developed an interest in endocrinology, neonatal development and conservation through her initial study and work in animal care. At university, she found her academic niche in research and malacology. Now in the Sleight Lab, Lucy is conducting her honours project investigating gene expression of 5αR-like enzymes in Crepidula fornicata and their putative role in early shell morphogenesis. Lucy hopes to continue her love for research by pursuing a PhD.

Beyond academics, she enjoys listening to science podcasts, bird watching and cooking.

Sarah Jansen (Hons student)

Sarah is a Marine Biology undergraduate student. She has an interest in developmental genomics and her honours project investigates early neural development in Credipula fornicata. After graduation, Sarah wants to keep researching genomics but is still unsure of the exact career path she wants to take.

Past members:

Parisa Kanipour (2023 – MSc project student)

Namitha Paul (2022 – MSc project student)

Kathleen Reynolds (2022 – MSc project student), now Regional Support for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Dr Kaja Kostanjevec (2021 – Research Assistant,  ACME & scRNAseq), now post-doc in the Collinson Lab

Kallen Sullivan (2021 – MSc project student), now PhD student with Tim Bean on the EASTBIO DTP programme

Eilidh Player (2021 – MSc project student), now technician in the Microscopy and Histology core facility in the University of Aberdeen

Sofia Varvaresou  (2021 – Hons project student), now MSc student at the University of Sheffield, studying Reproductive and Developmental Medicine

Rory Hutchenson (2020 – Hons project student)