Prof Paul Shaw


Prof Paul Shaw


Institute Director of Post Graduate Studies

Contact Details



I am leader of the Aquatic, Behavioural & Evolutionary Biology (ABEB) research group

My research interests lie in understanding the distribution and maintenance of genetic biodiversity within species (particularly in aquatic systems) using molecular genetic methods, the main aim of such work being to define mechanisms underlying population connectivity, evolution and speciation. The applications of this work are to improve assessment and conservation of genetic biodiversity within exploited (fished) species.
Current interests:

  • genetic management of exploited natural populations and species of potential aquaculture interest (cephalopods and fish)
  • investigating larval dynamics and dispersal in marine species
  • evolution of behavioural / reproductive strategies of aquatic organisms (particularly cephalopods)

My aim is to understand the effect on genetic biodiversity of processes occurring at the level of individuals to populations to species.


Cryptic species and parallel genetic structuring in Lethrinid fish: Implications for conservation and management in the southwest Indian OceanHealey, A. J. E., McKeown, N., Taylor, A. L., Provan, J., Sauer, W., Gouws, G. & Shaw, P. 2018 In : Ecology and Evolution.
Genetic analysis reveals harvested Lethrinus nebulosus in the Southwest Indian Ocean comprise two cryptic speciesHealey, A. J. E., Gouwns, G., Fennessy, S. T., Kuguru, B., Sauer, W. H. H., Shaw, P. & McKeown, N. 2018 In : ICES Journal of Marine Science. fsx245
A synthesis of European seahorse taxonomy, population structure, and habitat use as a basis for assessment, monitoring and conservationWoodall, L. C., Otero-Ferrer, F., Correia, M., Garrick-Maidment, N., Shaw, P. & Koldewey, H. J. 2018 In : Marine Biology.19, 165
A PCR-RFLP method for stock assignment in the endemic Macaronesian gastropid, Patella candei d'Orbigny, and its potential for future conservation strategiesCarreira, G. P., McKeown, N., Shaw, P. & Gonçalves, J. M. 2018 In : Fisheries Research.199, p. 8-114 p.
Multiple paternity in egg clutches of green turtles in Redang Island and Sabah Turtle Islands Park, MalaysiaJoseph, J., Chong, J. & Shaw, P. 2017 In : Journal of Sustainability Science and Management.12, 1, p. 12-2211 p.
Isolation and characterisation of polymorphic microsatellite loci for studies of the big blue octopus, Octopus cyaneaMcKeown, N., Taylor, A. L. & Shaw, P. 2017 In : Marine Biodiversity.
Congruent Molecular and Morphological Diversity of Macaronesian Limpets: Insights into eco-evolutionary Forces and Tools for ConservationCarreira, G. P., Shaw, P., Gonçalves, J. M. & McKeown, N. J. 2017 In : Frontiers in Marine Science.4, 75
Microsatellite genotyping of brown crab Cancer pagurus reveals fine scale selection and 'non-chaotic' genetic patchiness within a high gene flow systemMcKeown, N., Hauser, L. & Shaw, P. 2017 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.566, p. 91-103
Divergence of cryptic species of Doryteuthis plei Blainville, 1823 (Loliginidae, Cephalopoda) in the Western Atlantic Ocean is associated with the formation of the Caribbean SeaSales, J. B. D. L., Rodrigues-Filho, L. F. D. S., Ferreira, Y. D. S., Carneiro, J., Asp, N. E., Shaw, P., Haimovici, M., Markaida, U., Ready, J., Schneider, H. & Sampaio, I. 2017 In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.106, p. 44-54
Regional genetic population structure and fine scale genetic cohesion in the Southern blue whiting Micromesistius australisMcKeown, N., Arkhipkin, A. I. I. & Shaw, P. 2017 In : Fisheries Research.185, p. 176-184
Phylogeny of the Sepia officinalis species complex in the east Atlantic extends the known distribution of Sepia vermiculata across the Benguela upwelling regionHealey, A., McKeown, N., Potts, W. M., de Beer, C., Sauer, W. H. H. & Shaw, P. 2017 In : African Journal of Marine Science.39, p. 307-313 7 p.
Life cycle of Chokka squid Loligo reynaudii in South African watersLipinski, M., van der Vyver, F., Shaw, P. W. & Sauer, W. H. H. 2016 In : African Journal of Marine Science.38, 4, p. 589-593
Phenotypic divergence despite high gene flow in Chokka squid Loligo reynaudii (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae): implications for fishery managementvan der Vyver, F., Sauer, W. H. H., McKeown, N. J., Yemane, D., Shaw, P. W. & Lipinski, M. 2016 In : Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.96, p. 1507-1525
Molecular genetic, life-history and morphological variation in a coastal warm-temperature sciaenid fish: Evidence for an upwelling-driven speciation eventHenriques, R., Potts, W., Sauer, W. H., Santos, C. V., Kruger, J., Thomas, J. A. & Shaw, P. 2016 In : Journal of Biogeography.43, 9, p. 1820-1831
DNA extraction from spider websBlake, M., McKeown, N., Bushell, M. & Shaw, P. 2016 In : Conservation Genetics Resources.8, 3, p. 219-2213 p.
Isolation by distance and non-identical patterns of gene flow within two river populations of the freshwater fish Rutilus rutilus (L. 1758)Crookes, S. & Shaw, P. 2016 In : Conservation Genetics.17, p. 861-874
Multiple Mating, Paternity and Complex Fertilisation Patterns in the Chokka Squid Loligo reynaudiiNaud, M-J., Sauer, W. H. H., Mckeown, N. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2016 In : PLoS One.11, 2, e0146995
Individual and population-level responses to ocean acidificationHarvey, B., Mckeown, N. J., Rastrick, S. P. S., Bertolini, C., Foggo, A., Graham, H., Hall-Spencer, J. M., Milazzo, M., Shaw, P. W., Small, D. P. & Moore, P. J. 2016 In : Scientific Reports.6, 20194
Past and present drivers of population structure in a small coastal fish, the European long snouted seahorse Hippocampus guttulatusWoodall, L. C., Koldewey, H. J., Boehm, J. T. & Shaw, P. 2015 In : Conservation Genetics.16, 5, p. 1139-115315 p.
Species-specific PCR-RFLP for identification of early life history stages of squid and other applications to fisheries research.McKeown, N., Robin, J-P. & Shaw, P. 2015 In : Fisheries Research.167, p. 207-2093 p.
Integrating genetic and otolith microchemistry data to understand population structure in the Patagonian Hoki (Macruronus magellanicus).McKeown, N., Arkhipkin, A. I. I. & Shaw, P. 2015 In : Fisheries Research.164, p. 1-7
Incipient genetic isolation of a temperate migratory coastal Sciaenid fish (Argyrosomus inodorus) within the Benguela Cold Current systemHenriques, R., Potts, W., Sauer, W. & Shaw, P. 2015 In : Marine Biology Research.11, 4, p. 423-4297 p.
Dimorphic sperm transfer traits for alternative mating tactics in loliginid squid.Iwata, Y., Sakurai, Y. & Shaw, P. 2015 In : Journal of Molluscan Studies.81, 1, p. 147-1515 p.
Microsatellite loci for studies of the common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalisMcKeown, N. & Shaw, P. 2014 In : Conservation Genetics Resources.6, 3, p. 701-7033 p.
Ocean warming, a rapid distributional shift, and the hybridization of a coastal fish speciesPotts, W. M., Henriques, R., Santos, C. V., Munnik, K., Ansorge, I., Dufois, F., Booth, A. J., Kirchner, C., Sauer, W. H. H. & Shaw, P. W. 2014 In : Global Change Biology.20, 9, p. 2765-277713 p.
Molecular Phylogeny of the Genus Lolliguncula Steenstrup, 1881 Based on Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Sequences Indicates Genetic Isolation of Populations from North and South Atlantic, and the Possible Presence of Further Cryptic SpeciesSales, J. B. L., Markaida, U., Shaw, P. W., Haimovici, M., Ready, J. S., Figueredo-Ready, W. M. B., Angioletti, F., Carneiro, M. A., Schneider, H. & Sampaio, I. 2014 In : PLoS One.9, 2, e88693
Population Connectivity and Phylogeography of a Coastal Fish, Atractoscion aequidens (Sciaenidae), across the Benguela Current Region: Evidence of an Ancient Vicariant EventHenriques, R., Potts, W. M., Santos, C. V., Sauer, W. H. H. & Shaw, P. W. 2014 In : PLoS One.9, 2, e87907
Testing the performance of a fragment of the COI gene to identify western Palaearctic stag beetle species (Coleoptera, Lucanidae)Cox, K., Thomaes, A., Antonini, G., Zilioli, M., De Gelas, K., Harvey, D., Solano, E., Audisio, P., McKeown, N., Shaw, P., Minetti, R., Bartolozzi, L. & Mergeay, J. 2013 In : ZooKeys.365, p. 105-12622 p.
Genetic variation in a newly established population of the Atlantic rock crab Cancer irroratus in IcelandGíslason, Ó. S., Pálsson, S., McKeown, N., Halldórsson, H. P., Shaw, P. & Svavarsson, J. 2013 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.494, p. 219-230
Characterization of microsatellite loci developed for the Mexican four-eyed octopus Octopus mayaJuárez, O. E., Rosas, C., Arena, L., Enríquez, L., Camarena, F., McKeown, N. & Shaw, P. 2013 In : Conservation Genetics Resources.5, 3, p. 803-8053 p.
New molecular phylogeny of the squids of the family Loliginidae with emphasis on the genus Doryteuthis Naef, 1912: Mitochondrial and nuclear sequences indicate the presence of cryptic species in the southern Atlantic Oceande Luna Sales, J. B., Shaw, P., Haimovici, M., Markaida, U., Cunha, R. L., Ready, J., Figueiredo-Ready, W. M. B., Schneider, H. & Sampaio, I. 2013 In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.68, 2, p. 293-2997 p.
Molecular identification of three co-occurring and easily misidentified octopus species using PCR-RFLP techniquesTaylor, A. L., McKeown, N. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2012 In : Conservation Genetics Resources.4, 4, p. 885-8873 p.
Microsatellite genotyping reveals end-Pleistocene decline in mammoth autosomal genetic variationNyström, V., Humphrey, J., Skoglund, P., McKeown, N. J., Vartanyan, S., Shaw, P. W., Lidén, K., Jakobsson, M., Barnes, I., Angerbjörn, A., Lister, A. & Dalén, L. 2012 In : Molecular Ecology.21, 14, p. 3391-340212 p.
Population structure of the squid Doryteuthis (Loligo) pealeii on the eastern coast of the USA: Reply to Gerlach et al (2012)Shaw, P. W., Hendrickson, L., McKeown, N. J., Stonier, T., Naud, M-J. & Sauer, W. H. H. 2012 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.450, p. 285-2873 p.
Evidence of deep genetic divergence between populations of an important recreational fishery species, Lichia amia L. 1758, around southern AfricaHenriques, R., Potts, W. M., Sauer, W. H. H. & Shaw, P. W. 2012 In : African Journal of Marine Science.34, 4, p. 585-5917 p.
Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behavioursIwata, Y., Shaw, P., Fujiwara, E., Shiba, K., Kakiuchi, Y. & Hirohashi, N. 2011 In : BMC Evolutionary Biology.11, 1, p. 236-2449 p.
Serial monogamy in the European long-snouted seahorse Hippocampus guttulatusWoodall, L. C., Koldewey, H. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2011 In : Conservation Genetics.12, 6, p. 1645-16495 p.
Isolation of 12 microsatellite markers for geelbeck (Atractoscion aequidens (Cuvier, 1860), Sciaenidae), an overexploited marine fishHenriques, R., McKeown, N. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2011 In : Conservation Genetics Resources.4, 1, p. 85-873 p.
Historical and contemporary population genetic connectivity of the European short-snouted seahorse Hippocampus hippocampus and implications for managementWoodall, L. C., Koldewey, H. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2011 In : Journal of Fish Biology.78, 6, p. 1738-175619 p.
Multiple paternity in egg clutches of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)Joseph, J. & Shaw, P. W. 2011 In : Conservation Genetics.12, 2, p. 601-6055 p.
Discrete spawning aggregations of loliginid squid do not represent genetically distinct populationsShaw, P. W., Hendrickson, L., McKeown, N., Stonier, T., Naud, M. . J. & Sauer, W. H. H. 2010 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.408, p. 117-12711 p.
Physiological responses of three crustacean species to infection by the dinoflagellate-like protist Hematodinium (Alveolata: Syndinea)Hamilton, K. M., Shaw, P. W. & Morritt, D. 2010 In : Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.105, 2, p. 194-1963 p.
Population structure on breeding grounds of Lake Malawi's 'twilight zone' cichlid fishesGenner, M. J., Nichols, P., Shaw, P. W., Carvalho, G. R., Robinson, R. L. & Turner, G. F. 2010 In : Journal of Biogeography.37, 2, p. 258-26912 p.
Genetic diversity of the crustacean parasite Hematodinium (Alveolata, Syndinea)Hamilton, K. M., Morritt, D. & Shaw, P. W. 2010 In : European Journal of Protistology.46, 1, p. 17-2812 p.
The biology, life history and management needs of a large sciaenid fish, Argyrosomus coronus, in AngolaPotts, W. M., Sauer, W. H. H., Henriques, R., Sequesseque, S., Santos, C. V. & Shaw, P. W. 2010 In : African Journal of Marine Science.32, 2, p. 247-25812 p.
Prevalence and seasonality of Hematodinium (Alveolata: Syndinea) in a Scottish crustacean communityHamilton, K. M., Shaw, P. W. & Morritt, D. 2009 In : ICES Journal of Marine Science.66, 9, p. 1837-18459 p.
Microsatellite DNA markers and morphometrics reveal a complex population structure in a merobenthic octopus species (Octopus maorum) in south-east Australia and New ZealandDoubleday, Z. A., Semmens, J. M., Smolenski, A. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2009 In : Marine Biology.156, 6, p. 1183-119210 p.
Lack of spatial genetic variation in the edible crab (Cancer pagurus) in the Kattegat-Skagerrak areaUngfors, A., McKeown, N. J., Shaw, P. W. & Andre, C. 2009 In : ICES Journal of Marine Science.66, 3, p. 462-4698 p.
First occurrence of the lined seahorse Hippocampus erectus in the eastern Atlantic OceanWoodall, L. C., Koldewey, H. J., Santos, S. V. & Shaw, P. W. 2009 In : Journal of Fish Biology.75, 6, p. 1505-15128 p.
Genetic homogeneity among breeding grounds and nursery areas of an exploited Lake Malawi cichlid fishGenner, M. J., Nichols, P., Shaw, P. W., Carvalho, G. R., Robinson, R. L. & Turner, G. F. 2008 In : Freshwater Biology.53, 9, p. 1823-18319 p.
Isolation and characterization of highly polymorphic microsatellites in the chokka squid, Loligo reynaudiiNaud, M-J. & Shaw, P. W. 2008 In : Molecular Ecology Resources.8, 4, p. 943-9453 p.
Polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci for studies of brown crab, Cancer pagurus L.Mckeown, N. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2008 In : Molecular Ecology Resources.8, 3, p. 653-6553 p.
Single paternity within broods of the brown crab Cancer pagurus: a highly fecund species with long-term sperm storageMcKeown, N. J. & Shaw, P. W. 2008 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.368, p. 209-2157 p.
Evolution of a cichlid fish in a Lake Malawi satellite lakeGenner, M. J., Nichols, P., Carvalho, G., Robinson, R. L., Shaw, P. W., Smith, A. & Turner, G. F. 2007 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.274, 1623, p. 2249-22579 p.
Approaches to resolving cephalopod movement and migration patternsSemmens, J. M., Pecl, G. T., Gillanders, B. M., Waluda, C. M., Shea, E. K., Jouffre, D., Ichii, T., Zumholz, K., Katugin, O. N., Leporati, S. C. & Shaw, P. W. 2007 In : Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.17, 2-3, p. 401-42323 p.
Testing hypotheses of population structuring in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea using the common cuttlefish Sepia officinalisPerez-Losada, M., Nolte, M. J., Crandall, K. A. & Shaw, P. W. 2007 In : Molecular Ecology.16, 13, p. 2667-267913 p.
Age of cichlids: New dates for ancient lake fish radiationsGenner, M. J., Seehausen, O., Lunt, D. H., Joyce, D. A., Shaw, P. W., Carvalho, G. R. & Turner, G. F. 2007 In : Molecular Biology and Evolution.24, 5, p. 1269-128214 p.
Hierarchical population genetic structure in the commercially exploited shrimp Crangon crangon identified by AFLP analysisWeetman, D., Ruggiero, A., Mariani, S., Shaw, P. W., Lawler, A. R. & Hauser, L. 2007 In : Marine Biology.151, 2, p. 565-57511 p.
Reproductive isolation among deep-water cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi differing in monochromatic male breeding dressGenner, M. J., Nichols, P., Carvalho, G. R., Robinson, R. L., Shaw, P. W. & Turner, G. F. 2007 In : Molecular Ecology.16, 3, p. 651-66212 p.
Molecular and histological identification of the crustacean parasite Hematodinium sp (Alveolata, Syndinea) in the shore crab Carcinus maenasHamilton, K. M., Morritt, D. & Shaw, P. W. 2007 In : Acta Protozoologica.46, 3, p. 183-19210 p.
Genetic population structure across a range of geographic scales in the commercially exploited marine gastropod Buccinum undatumWeetman, D., Hauser, L., Bayes, M. K., Ellis, J. R. & Shaw, P. W. 2006 In : Marine Ecology Progress Series.317, p. 157-16913 p.
Microsatellite markers for the whelk Buccinum undatumWeetman, D., Hauser, L., Shaw, P. W. & Bayes, M. K. 2005 In : Molecular Ecology Notes.5, 2, p. 361-3622 p.
Evidence for biased use of sperm sources in wild female giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama)Naud, M-J., Shaw, P. W., Hanlon, R. T. & Havenhand, J. N. 2005 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.272, 1567, p. 1047-10515 p.
Genetic structuring of Patagonian toothfish populations in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean: the effect of the Antarctic Polar Front and deep-water troughs as barriers to genetic exchangeShaw, P. W., Arkhipkin, A. I. & Al-Khairulla, H. 2004 In : Molecular Ecology.13, 11, p. 3293-330311 p.