Associate Head of School
School of Marine Science and Engineering (Faculty of Science & Environment)
Associate Head of School (Marine Biology)
BSc, University of Dundee (1987)
DPhil, University of Oxford (1993)
PGC LTHE, University of Plymouth (2001)
AFRC Research Assistant, University of Oxford (1991-1993)
NERC Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Oxford (1994-1996)
College Lecturer in Zoology, Pembroke College, University of Oxford (1997)
Research Biologist, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (1998-2000)
Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, Unviversity of Plymouth (2000-present)
In the first year I teach vertebrate biology (MBIO111), evolution and animal behaviour (MBIO1013), and help to run the ecosystems field course to Brittany (MBIO109).
My second year teaching covers experimental design and analysis (MBIO210) and the Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology field course in South Africa (MBIO213).
In the third year I teach behavioural ecology (MBIO317) and supervise research projects (MBIO313).
I was the programme leader for BSc Marine Biology & Coastal Ecology for seven years, and now help Dave Bilton to run the programme.
I am a behavioural ecologist and of late I have primarily worked on predator-prey interactions and contest behaviour. I'm also interested in community ecology and anthropogenic impacts on ecological assemblages and phenology.
Mowles, S.L., Cotton, P.A. & Briffa, M. (2010) Whole-organism performance capacity predicts resource-holding potential in the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus. Animal Behaviour 80: 277-282
Mowles, S.L., Cotton, P.A. & Briffa, M. (2011) Flexing the abdominals: Do bigger muscles make better fighters? Biology Letters doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1079
Mowles, S.L., Rundle, S.D. & Cotton, P.A. (2011) Susceptibility to predation affects trait-mediated interactions by altering competitive success. PLoS One 6(8): e23068. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023068
For more details, look at my page on Google Scholar.
Current PhD students
Lisa Sztukowski. Individual foraging specialization and seabird fishery interactions: implications for albatross conservation. With Dr Steve Votier, University of Exeter, and Dr Henri Weimerskirch, CNRS, France.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
Julian Evans. PhD. habitat characterisation of infralittoral pebble beds in the Maltese islands. (Jointly supervised with Prof Martin Attrill & Prof Patrick Schembri, University of Malta). Funding: STEPS, Malta). Completed 2014.
Ahmed Al-Mazrouai, PhD. Phenotypic plasticity in marine intertidal gastropods. (Jointly supervised with Dr. S. Rundle). Funding: Sultanate of Oman. Completed 2009.
Sophie Mowles, PhD. Contest behaviour in hermit crabs. (Jointly supervised with Dr Mark Briffa). Funding: University of Plymouth Research Studentship. Completed 2009.
Sarah Dalesman, PhD. Anti-predator behaviour in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis. (Jointly supervised with Dr Simon Rundle). Funding: University of Plymouth Studentship. Completed 2007.
Lissa Goodwin, PhD. The ecology and conservation of the harbour porpoise (Phocena phocena) along the west coast of the UK. (Jointly supervised with Dr Martin Attrill & Dr Nick Tregenza). Funding: private. Completed 2007.
Sarah Carless, PhD. The effect of human disturbance on oystercatcher prey selection and foraging behaviour on rocky shores. (Jointly supervised with Dr Ross Coleman, University of Sydney & Dr Richard Stillman, CEH). Funding: HEFCE COLLr. Completed 2006.
Gillian Groeger, PhD. The visual performance of the cuttlefish eye. (Jointly supervised with Prof. Roddy Williamson). Funding: HEFCE COLLr. Completed 2003.
Pete Cotton's page on Google Scholar.
Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre
BSc Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology
Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology field course
Marine Biology & Oceanography
MRes Marine Biology (Official University Site) for more details click here for the MRes mini-site