My academic interests in Antarctica started at the University of Southampton whilst studying for my MSci Marine Biology. I became interested in, and sought opportunities to study, remote and extreme habitats. During my undergraduate I went to sea for the first time and I began studying the variation in the reproductive output of Antarctic invertebrates over time under changing environmental conditions.
My PhD at the Natural History Museum London and the University of Liverpool investigated the genetic and functional diversity of Antarctic polychaetes (bristle worms). This project enabled me to gain expertise in DNA barcoding and genetic analysis, uncovering species new to science, and, compound specific stable isotope analysis, a technique that had not been used on Antarctic polychaetes.
During my PhD I visited Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey, something I had aspired to do for a long time. On the State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (SO-AntEco) expedition I experienced the remoteness and vulnerability of Antarctica. This new connection to Antarctica altered my research outlook. I want to deliver my science to policy-makers to assist in the monitoring, management and protection of Antarctic species and habitats.
I also participated in an early-career training course in Antarctic biology at Palmer Station. Living and working on the station was a fantastic experience and I gained insight into international Antarctic programmes and many valuable colleagues and friends from the US. I gained further international connections through my participation in the all-female Homeward Bound leadership expedition in Antarctica in 2018.
On completing my PhD I moved to Tasmania, seeking Antarctic research opportunities as an early career scientist. Here I became heavily involved with the MEASO project lead by the Ecosystems group at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, for whom I have been a post-doctoral research assistant on for the last 12 months. This opportunity has continued my education in the delivery of science to policy-makers. In early 2019 I was also able to join the Australian Antarctic Division blue whale voyage in East Antarctica – an incredible learning and awe-inspiring experience.
I am passionate about educating others about Antarctica through outreach and science communication. This also led to my involvement in an Antarctic Ambassadors research project led by the Centre for Marine Socioecology in Tasmania. My wish is to continue work for the preservation of vulnerable Antarctic and marine ecosystems for they do not have a voice, but we do.
If you would like to contact me, here is how:
Project websites: https://www.bas.ac.uk/project/so-anteco/
My publications include:
Brasier, M.J., Grant, S.M., Trathan, P.N., Allcock, L., Ashford, O., Blagbrough, H., Brandt, A., Danis, B., Downey, R., Eléaume, M.P. and Enderlein, P., 2018. Benthic biodiversity in the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area. Biodiversity, 19(1-2), pp.5-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/14888386.2018.1468821
Neal, L., Brasier, M.J. and Wiklund, H.E.L.E.N.A., 2018. Six new species of Macellicephala (Annelida: Polynoidae) from the Southern Ocean and south Atlantic with re-description of type species. Zootaxa, 4455(1), pp.1-34. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4455.1.1
Brasier, M.J., Wiklund, H., Neal, L., Jeffreys, R., Linse, K., Ruhl, H. and Glover, A.G., 2016. DNA barcoding uncovers cryptic diversity in 50% of deep-sea Antarctic polychaetes. Royal Society open science, 3(11), p.160432. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5180122/
Brasier, M.J., Harle, J., Wiklund, H., Jeffreys, R.M., Linse, K., Ruhl, H.A. and Glover, A.G., 2017. Distributional Patterns of Polychaetes Across the West Antarctic Based on DNA Barcoding and Particle Tracking Analyses. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4, p.356. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00356.