You are here

Tom Jenkins

Email:     Twitter: @Tom__Jenkins     Google Scholar


Research interests

I am a research scientist with interests in aquatic ecology, environmental biology and conservation genetics. I am particularly interested in the application of such data as evidence to inform decisions by conservation managers and policy.

Update: On Feb 1st I started a new job at Natural England where I will be working with partners to develop a Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Cornwall’s landscapes and seascapes.

Previous research

At Exeter, I worked as a postdoc supervised by Eduarda Santos and Jamie Stevens on the BBSRC/NERC AquaLeap lobster project: Innovation in Genetics and Breeding to Advance UK Aquaculture Production.

In this project, I assessed the heritability of growth traits in European lobsters reared in sea-based container systems.

PhD research

The aim of my PhD was to explore population connectivity across the British Isles & northeast Atlantic and assess the connectivity between Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) designated around Britain.  In the first stage of my PhD, I reviewed published studies on a range of benthic marine taxa around the British Isles and surrounding waters in an attempt to identify any trends in genetic diversity and population structure. The second stage of my PhD used genetic/genomic techniques to assess the population structure and genetic connectivity of two ecologically diverse taxa across the northeast Atlantic: pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa) and European lobster (Homarus gammarus). Analysing population connectivity in two species with contrasting life histories provided information on intraspecific connectivity but also enabled a multi-species study of connectivity between designated MPAs.


Jenkins TL, Ellis CD, Triantafyllidis A, Stevens JR (2019) Single nucleotide polymorphisms reveal a genetic cline across the northeast Atlantic and enable powerful population assignment in the European lobster. Evolutionary Applications 12, 1881-1899.

Gan HM, Grandjean F, Jenkins TL, Austin CM (2019) Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: nanopore sequencing and complete assembly of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) mitogenome uncovers the missing nad2 and a new major gene cluster duplication. BMC Genomics 20:335.

Jenkins TL, Castilho R, Stevens JR (2018) Meta-analysis of northeast Atlantic marine taxa shows contrasting phylogeographic patterns following post-LGM expansions. PeerJ 6:e5684.

Head CEI, Michael BB, Jenkins TL, Koldewey H, Pratchett MS, Taylor ML, Rogers AD (2018) Exceptional biodiversity of the cryptofaunal decapods in the Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean. Marine Pollution Bulletin 135, 636-647.

Jenkins TL & Stevens JR (2018) Assessing connectivity between MPAs: selecting taxa and translating genetic data to inform policy. Marine Policy 94, 165-173.

Jenkins TL, Ellis CD, Stevens JR (2019) SNP discovery in European lobster (Homarus gammarus) using RAD sequencing. Conservation Genetics Resources 11, 253-257.

Holland LP*, Jenkins TL*, Stevens JR (2017) Contrasting patterns of population structure and gene flow facilitate exploration of connectivity in two widely distributed temperate octocorals. Heredity 119, 35-48. *Joint first authorship.

Grants and awards

November 2019 - Genetics Society Training Grant (£1,000)

May 2019 - IDSAI Early Career Researcher Travel Grant (£500)

May 2019 - British Ecological Society Small Research Grant (£5,000)

August 2018 - Genetics Society Junior Scientist Travel Grant non-GS (£750)

February 2018 - Genetics Society Heredity Fieldwork Grant (£1,284)

December 2017 - Genetics Society Junior Scientist Travel Grant non-GS (£500)

June 2017 - British Ecological Society Travel Grant (£500)

January 2017 - Genetics Society Junior Scientist Travel Grant GS meeting (£150)

December 2015 - Environment YES Syngenta award for best plant, microbial and environment business plan (£125)

July 2015 - Genetics Society Training Grant (£500)

September 2014 - Illumina prize in Biodiversity Informatics and Genomics (£1,000)

Press releases and blogs

"Connectivity between Marine Protected Areas" - My #ExeterMarine PhD blog.

"Soft coral species exhibit strikingly different patterns of connectivity around the British Isles" - University of Exeter Featured News.


2015-2018 - Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for the BIO2081 Bahamas Coral Reef Field Course (University of Exeter)

2016-2018 - GTA for BIO2071 statistics workshops using R programming language

Conferences and events

October 2019 - Talk at Aquaculture Europe 2019 in Berlin, Germany. ”Determining the heritability of growth traits in cultured European lobsters using genomics”.

June 2019 - Invited talk at the ARCH-UK Annual Science Event hosted by the University of Stirling (Scotland, UK). "Sizing-up DNA: Exploring the role of genetics in growth in European lobsters".  

December 2018 - Invited talk at the National Lobster Hatchery (Padstow, Cornwall). "Genetic structure, larval dispersal and connectivity in the European lobster (Homarus gammarus)".

September 2018 - Poster presentation at the ICES Annual Science Conference in Hamburg, Germany. "Population genetic structure of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) using RADseq-derived SNPs".

August 2018 - Poster presentation at the II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology in Montpellier, France. "Population genetic structure of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) using RADseq-derived SNPs".

Februrary 2018 - Invited talk at the Natural England Marine Monitoring and Evidence Event in Nottingham, UK. "Evaluating connectivity between MPAs using population genetics".

December 2017 - Talk at the European Coral Reef Symposium at the University of Oxford, UK. "Contrasting patterns of genetic connectivity in two northeast Atlantic octocorals".

June 2017 - Talk at the 11th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management in Portland, Maine. "Genome-wide SNP discovery and development of a SNP panel for European lobster (Homarus gammarus)".

May 2017 - Talk at the EuroMarine Foresight Workshop on the application of population genomics in fisheries management hosted by the University of Algarve (Faro, Portugal). "Exploring the population structure of European lobster: the utility of SNPs in lobster fisheries management".

April 2017 - Talk at the Marine Biological Association postgraduate conference hosted by the University of Exeter Penryn Campus.  "The benefits of genomics in fisheries management".

January 2017 - Poster presentation at the 50th Population Genetics Group meeting hosted by Cambridge University. "Population genomics of European lobster: SNP discovery and developing a SNP panel".

December 2016 - Invited talk at the National Lobster Hatchery (Padstow, Cornwall).  "Population genomics of European lobster (Homarus gammarus)".

April 2016 - Poster and lightning talk at the Wessex Congress hosted by the University of Oxford. "Contrasting patterns of population structure and connectivity in two widely distributed temperate octocorals".

November 2015 - Talk at the Reef Conservation UK annual conference hosted by the Zoological Society of London. "Selection drives apparent population structure in a widely distributed temperate octocoral". 

January 2015 - Poster presentation at the NERC GW4+ Associate Partner event. "Assessing connectivity between MPAs: which taxa should we focus on?"

December 2014 - Talk at the Reef Conservation UK annual conference hosted by the Zoological Society of London.  "Biodiversity of snapping shrimp (Alpheidae) in the Chagos Archipelago and western Madagascar".


July 2016 - Month internship at Taylor & Francis academic publishing.

December 2015 - Finalist and winners of the Syngenta award for best plant, microbial and environment business plan in the Environment Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition.  


PhD Biological Sciences, University of Exeter (2014-2018)

MRes Biodiversity Informatics and Genomics, Imperial College London (Distinction)

BSc Marine Biology (Hons), Swansea University (First Class)

The University of Exeter, The Queen's Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
Copyright and Disclaimer