Dr David Wilcockson


Dr David Wilcockson


Department of Life Sciences

Contact Details


Administrative roles

Theme Leader, Animal and Aquatic Sciences, Research Committee member, Scheme Leader for Zoology


Biological clocks in marine organisms

My research group Aquatic, Behavioural & Evolutionary Biology (ABEB) is investigating the molecular and biochemical basis of biological 'clocks' in organisms that exhibit circatidal (~12.4 hour) and circadian (~24 hour) rhythms and time-compensated navigation in marine intertidal animals. Using a variety of contemporary molecular technologies I am identifying the cellular, genetic and protein components of clocks in a marine isopod crustacean, Eurydice pulchra. This work is funded by the BBSRC in collaboration with the University of Leicester (Professor Bambos Kyriacou-Lead PI, and Dr Lin Zhang), Bangor University (Professor Simon Webster) and Cambridge LMB (Dr Mick Hastings, FRS). Work funded by the NERC is focused in defining the molecular and cellular control of navigational behavior in the beach amphipod Talitrus saltator.

Crustacean Endocrinology

I am interested in the endocrine control of growth, moulting and metabolism in crustaceans. Recently (in collaboration with [Professor Simon Webster][4], Bangor University) we identified the genes that encode orthologues of the insect cuticle tanning hormone bursicon in the green shore crab Carcinus maenas and described their expression through the moult cycle. We are now working to fully characterise the function of crab bursicon and describe the endocrine cascades that govern cuticle development, moulting and cuticle hardening in arthropods. This work was funded by the BBSRC.


Zhang, L, Hastings, M, Green, E, Tauber, E, Sladek, M, Webster, S, Kyriacou, C & Wilcockson, D 2013, 'Dissociation of circadian and circatidal time-keeping in the marine crustacean Eurydice pulchra', Current Biology, vol. 23, no. 19, pp. 1863-1873. 10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.038
Wilcockson, DC & Webster, SG 2008, 'Identification and developmental expression of mRNAs encoding putative insect cuticle hardening hormone, bursicon in the green shore crab Carcinus maenas', General and Comparative Endocrinology, vol. 156, no. 1, pp. 113-125. 10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.12.003
More publications on the Research Portal