New Aquatic Ecologist joins THA Aquatic
THA Aquatic is delighted to welcome a new arrival to the team, further strengthening our aquatic ecology specialist services.
Matt Harris joined the company as an Aquatic Ecologist in April, following the successful completion of his PhD in Marine Biology and a stint volunteering on the Blue Marine Foundation Solent Oyster restoration project.
Holding both undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Marine Biology from the University of Portsmouth, Matt is a very welcome addition to the company and has settled into the role well.
To date Matt has been involved in intertidal fisheries surveys for a national infrastructure project, carried out literature searches for up-coming projects, and undertaken data collection and analysis of plankton samples. He has also played an integral part in producing project proposals for the R&D division of the company, as we investigate opportunities to reduce the impact of water abstraction on marine and freshwater fishes.
The focus of Matt’s PhD studies was the spread of an invasive mollusc, the Manilla clam.
Introduced to the UK in the 1980’s to be grown commercially it was deemed an important species as it was believed to be unable to reproduce in the cold UK waters. This assumption proved to be wrong and within 4 years, the Manilla clam had successfully reproduced, and began spreading away from the natural growing sites.
During his PhD Matt carried out a long-term monitoring programme on a heavily exploited and commercially important population of Manilla clams in Poole Harbour, Dorset. In the course of his study Matt helped to develop a modified dredge that could be used in the shallow intertidal zone, and a method for analysing swimming behaviour in bivalve larvae.