Dr Sarah Dalesman

PhDFellow of the HEA

Dr Sarah Dalesman

Lecturer in Freshwater Biology

Department of Life Sciences

Contact Details


I started with a PhD in behavioural ecology at the University of Plymouth assessing antipredator behaviour in the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis. Sticking with snails, I then moved over to Canada in 2008 and worked in a neurobiology laboratory at the University of Calgary funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions. Most of the work I did in Calgary was on stress and memory, with particular focus on how different forms of stress can interact to affect memory formation (http://theconversation.com/forgetful-snails-could-tell-us-about-how-our-memories-work-20935). Did you know chocolate can improve memories?.....In snails at least! (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/2012/09/30/how-to-improve-snail-memories-with-chocolate/). In 2012 I moved back to the U.K. as a research fellow at the University of Exeter, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, which I retained on joining Aberystwyth in January 2014. 

I still work with pond snails assessing the factors that drive individual differences in cognition and developing work on sentience in gastropods; however, my personal interests in dog training has also led to me developing research around dog cognition and behaviour. 

If you are interested in an MRes or PhD in either of these areas, please get in touch! 


Scheme coordinator for the Marine and Freshwater Biology degree

Student Experience lead for the Department of Life Sciences

Athena Swan committee member, Aberystwyth University

Research Groups

  • Marine environmental impacts and remedies


Davidson, GL, Cienfuegos, IA & Dalesman, S 2024, 'Antibiotic-altered gut microbiota explain host memory plasticity and disrupt pace-of-life covariation for an aquatic snail', ISME Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, wrae078. 10.1093/ismejo/wrae078
Mellor, N, McBride, S, Stoker, E & Dalesman, S 2024, 'Impact of Training Discipline and Experience on Inhibitory Control and Cognitive Performance in Pet Dogs', Animals, vol. 14, no. 3, 428. 10.3390/ani14030428
Coppola, CM, Strong, JB, O’reilly, L, Dalesman, S & Akanyeti, O 2023, 'Robot Programming from Fish Demonstrations', Biomimetics, vol. 8, no. 2, 248. 10.3390/biomimetics8020248
Dalesman, S 2018, 'Habitat and social context affect memory phenotype, exploration and co-variance among these traits', Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, vol. 373, no. 1756, 20170291. 10.1098/rstb.2017.0291
Cauchoix, M, Chow, PKY, van Horik, JO, Atance, CM, Barbeau, EJ, Barragan-Jason, G, Bize, P, Boussard, A, Buechel, SD, Cabirol, A, Cauchard, L, Claidière, N, Dalesman, S, Devaud, JM, Didic, M, Doligez, B, Fagot, J, Fichtel, C, Henke-von der Malsburg , J, Hermer, E, Huber, L, Huebner, F, Kappeler, PM, Klein, S, Langbein, J, Langley, EJG, Lea, SEG, Lihoreau, M, Lovlie, H, Matzel, LD, Nakagawa, S, Nawroth, C, Oesterwind, S, Sauce, B, Smith, E, Sorato, E, Tebbich, S, Wallis, LJ, Whiteside, MA, Wilkinson, A, Chaine, AS & Morand-Ferron, J 2018, 'The repeatability of cognitive performance: A meta-analysis', Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, vol. 373, no. 1756, 20170281. 10.1098/rstb.2017.0281
More publications on the Research Portal