2021–present: Postdoctoral Researcher on the project - “ChemPop: What are the impacts of chemicals on wildlife populations?” with the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme at the Institute of Zoology, ZSL, UK.
2016–2021: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology and Brunel University
2020–2020: Science Policy Secondment, Defra London
2019–2019: PhD Secondment at Blue Ventures (Marine Conservation NGO), London
2016–2018: Ocean Scientist on the Plastic Ocean Festival Team, London
2013–2016: Digital Data Analyst, Barclays Bank PLC, London
2012–2013: Research engineer, Fathom Systems Ltd, Aberdeen
2008–2012: MEng Chemical Engineering and Sustainable Technology (First Class), University of Manchester
My research seeks to understand the impacts of exposure to chemical pollution on marine apex predators. I currently work in collaboration with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) to assess the health of UK cetacean populations using information collected as part of post-mortem investigations on stranded animals. Cetaceans are a sentinel group for assessing ocean and human health as they are long-lived coastal residents that feed at a high trophic level, often sharing their food sources with humans. My work combines biological data (e.g., age, sex, health status) with tissue concentrations of persistent organic pollutants to assess the ecotoxicological status of cetaceans in several ways including: assessing the spatiotemporal trends of pollutant burdens; investigating relationships between burdens and indices of health (e.g., immune and reproductive system suppression) and assessing toxicity and risk in relation to other anthropogenic stressors. I hope that my work can be used to ensure remediation and mitigation policies are adequate to protect UK marine apex predators from chemical pollution.
R. Williams, M. ten Doeschate, D. J. Curnick, A. Brownlow, J. L. Barber, N. J. Davison, R. Deaville, M. Perkins, P. D. Jepson, S. Jobling, Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls are atill associated with toxic effects in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) despite having fallen below proposed toxicity thresholds. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2020), doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05453.
R. Williams, D. J. Curnick, J. L. Barber, A. Brownlow, N. J. Davison, R. Deaville, M. Perkins, S. Jobling, P. D. Jepson, Juvenile harbor porpoises in the UK are exposed to a more neurotoxic mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls than adults. Sci. Total Environ. 708 (2020), doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134835.
R. Williams, D. J. Curnick, A. Brownlow, J. L. Barber, J. Barnett, N. J. Davison, R. Deaville, M. ten Doeschate, M. Perkins, P. D. Jepson, S. Jobling, Polychlorinated biphenyls are associated with reduced testes weights in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Environ. Int., 106303 (2021).