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Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: christopher.roterman@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Research Interests

My principle interest is in understanding the processes that govern patterns of biodiversity in the deep sea. In particular, I’m fascinated by how populations of deep-sea species are connected to each other and how processes over time can lead to divergence and eventually speciation. To this end, I work primarily with molecular genetic tools to understand patterns of population connectivity and demographics and to infer patterns of relatedness between species. At present I am working with animals associated with deep-water coral ecosystems on sea mounts to understand the vertical and horizontal scales of population connectivity and gene flow. Additionally, I work on the biogeography of animal communities at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. That is to say, I’m interested in trying to understand why different parts of the worlds oceans harbour different hydrothermal vent communities – so-called biogeographic provinces. In particular, I’m interested in how Yeti crabs, a family of chemosynthetically-associated squat lobster crustaceans, evolved over the last 40 million years, in order to understand the resilience of hydrothermal vent species to disturbance at various timescales. I’ve also recently studied the connectivity of species between hydrothermal vents in the Southern Ocean, which can be conceived of as biomass islands surrounded by the biomass ‘deserts’ of the deep sea.

Below are photographs by David Shale of some recent hydrothermal vent discoveries. An undescribed “Hoff crab” from the Indian Ocean which is closely related to a recently described species from the Southern Ocean – Kiwa tyleri, and a scaly-foot gastropod (Chrysomallon squamiferum) from the Indian Ocean

 

Sea Time

CCGS Hudson, Nekton Cruise (Jul – Aug 2016)
Sampling and exploring seamounts and sponge grounds off Canada and Bermuda for Nekton.

RRS James Cook Cruise 136 (May – June 2016)
Sampling deep-water coral communities on seamounts in the NE Atlantic using ROV ISIS.

JRS Yokosuka (Jan – March 2016)
Exploring the deep-sea floor on the Central Indian Ridge of the Indian Ocean, searching for new hydrothermal vents with the submersible Shinkai 6500.

Ocean Discovery (July – Sept 2014)
Surveying the continental slope off Angola for the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

RRS James Cook research Cruise 55 (Jan – Feb 2011)
Explored the Bransfield Strait, on the west side of the Antarctic peninsula for hydrothermal vents.

RRS James Cook research Cruise 42 (Jan – Feb 2010)
Explored the East Scotia Ridge in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean using ROV ISIS and retrieved, for the first time ever, hydrothermal vent animals from the only known vents in the Southern Ocean.

SERPENT Project, 2009
Flew out to oil drilling ships and rigs in the Norwegian sea and Faroe-Shetland channel and conducted deep-sea benthic surveys utilizing industry remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) as part of the SERPENT scheme (Scientific and Environmental Rov Partnership using Existing iNdustrial Technology).

Marine Mammal Observer 2005 – 2008 
Worked as a Minerals Management Service (MMS) marine mammal observer on seismic survey vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, ensuring that seismic operations were halted in the presence of marine mammals. Totalled more than 1.5 years of at sea time.

Academic Experience

2016-
Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Deep-sea Ecology, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.

2015-2015
Associate researcher and field-course instructor, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.

2014-2014
SERPENT researcher, DeepSeas Group, NOC, Southampton, UK.

2009-2014
Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology at the University of Oxford (Somerville College): The Evolution and Population Genetics of Hydrothermal Vent Megafauna from the Scotia Sea. Graduated November 2014. Supervised by Professor Alex D. Rogers.

2008
Masters of Science in Oceanography, with a speciality in biological oceanography from the National Oceanography Centre, at the University of Southampton.

2001
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford (St Hughs College)

Selected Publications

  • Taylor ML, Roterman CN (2017) Invertebrate population genetics across Earth’s largest habitat: The deep‐sea floor. Molecular Ecology, 7, 488.
  • Roterman CN, Copley JT, Linse KT, Tyler PA, Rogers AD (2016) Connectivity in the cold: the comparative population genetics of vent‐endemic fauna in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean. 25, 1073–1088.
  • Thatje S, Marsh L, Roterman CN, Mavrogordato MN, Linse K (2015) Adaptations to Hydrothermal Vent Life in Kiwa tyleri, a New Species of Yeti Crab from the East Scotia Ridge, Antarctica (S Kiel, Ed,). Plos One, 10, e0127621.
  • Chen C, Linse K, Roterman CN, Copley JT, Rogers AD (2015) A new genus of large hydrothermal vent‐endemic gastropod (Neomphalina: Peltospiridae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 175, 319–335.
  • Ahyong, S. T., & Roterman, C. N. (2014). Pristinaspinidae, a new family of Cretaceous kiwaiform stem-lineage squat lobster (Anomura, Chirostyloidea). Scripta Geologica, (147).
  • RotermanC. N., Copley, J. T., Linse, K. T., Tyler, P. A., Rogers, A. D. (2013). The biogeography of the yeti crabs (Kiwaidae) with notes on the phylogeny of the Chirostyloidea (Decapoda: Anomura)Proc R Soc B 280: 20130718
  • Roterman, C. N., Copley, J. T., Linse, K. T., Tyler, P. A., & Rogers, A. D. (2013). Development of polymorphic microsatellite loci for three species of vent-endemic megafauna from deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean. Conservation Genetics Resources, 1-5.
  • Rogers AD, Tyler PA, Connelly DP, Copley JT, James R, Larter RD, Linse K, Mills RA, Naveira- Garabato A, Pancost RD, Pearce DA, Polunin NVC, German CR, Shank T, Boersch-Supan PH, Alker B, Aquilina A, Bennett SA, Clarke A, Dinley RJJ, Graham ACG, Green D, Hawkes JA, Hepburn L, Hilario A, Huvenne VAI, Marsh L, Ramirez-Llodra E, Reid WDK, Roterman CN, Sweeting CJ, Thatje S, Zwirglmaier K (2012). The discovery of new deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities in the Southern Ocean and implications for biogeography. PLoS Biology 10 (1),  e1001234