Centre for Health and Bioinformatics


Dr William Reid

Lecturer in Marine Biology and Biologica


I am an ecologist with experience using field research, experimental studies and modelling techniques. I research the structure and dynamics of complex systems with particular emphasis on how microbes and metazoans interact with one another and their environment. This allows me to analyse how perturbations to resource quality, energy flow, immune system and health status influence homeostasis, stability, productivity and functionality in human, animal or community level systems. My interests encompass a range of scales from the molecular to ecosystem level but I always try to tackle any scientific problem from an ecological perspective. I undertake interdisciplinary research working closely with immunologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, clinicians and ecologists.

Orcid ID: 0000-0003-0190-0425

Researcher ID: J-8528-2013


2012 PhD Trophodynamics on Mid-Ocean Ridges: spatial patterns in macro-consumers of the Mid-Atlantic and East Scotia Ridges, Newcastle University

2003 MSc Oceanography, University of Southampton

2002 BSc (Hons) Marine Biology, University of Aberdeen


British Ecological Society



I have 2 main areas where my research is currently focused.

Marine trophodynamics and benthic processes

I have strong background in marine science, especially in polar and deep sea systems, examining trophic interactions and benthic processes. This has been built through working with British Antarctic Survey and undertaking research on various deep-sea habitats including hydrothermal vents, seamounts, mid-ocean ridges and continental slopes. I use a series of biochemical techniques to elucidate trophodynamics and understand carbon and nitrogen cycling including lipid analysis, stable isotope analysis and compound-specific stable isotope analysis. I also have experience of undertaking trace metal analysis in animal tissues.

My current projects include:

  • Elucidating trophic structure at hydrothermal vents and seep habitats
  • Understanding food sources sustaining Antarctic benthic fauna
  • Trace metal composition in deep-sea megafauna

Microbial community dynamics

I am also interested in researching microbial community dynamics in various habitats including hospitalised patients, deposit feeders and chicken guts and marine sediments. This focuses around the physiological (e.g. immune response) and ecological (e.g. resource availability, competition) processes shape microbial communities. I do this using an array of modelling techniques including structural equation modelling; multivariate community analysis; linear hierarchical models; and Bayesian techniques. The research has broad applicability at an applied level for human and animal welfare and development of vaccinations for sustainable food production and a theoretical level through developing a systematic understanding of pathogen-host interactions, epidemiology and microbial roles in biogeochemical cycling.

My current projects include:

  • Understanding the impact of Campylobacter and stress on the microbial communities living in the broiler chicken’s gastrointestinal tract.


I teach across the marine science programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My teaching covers various aspects of ecology, environmental sciences and marine geology as well as environmental survey design.