School of Biological Sciences


Photo of Dr Joanne Preston

Dr Joanne Preston

  • Qualifications: BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD.
  • Role Title: Principal Lecturer in Marine Biology/Course Leader Marine Biology BSc
  • Address: Institute of Marine Sciences, Ferry Road, Eastney, PO4 9LY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5799
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I am a marine biologist with research interests in the ecology and evolution of benthic invertebrates and their microbial symbionts.

I am particularly interested in the biodiversity and ecological services provided by filter-feeding invertebrates, and use molecular ecology (from metagenomics to population genetics and phylogenetics) to understand how organisms respond to environmental change. My current research is focused on the sustainable restoration and resource management of the native oyster Ostrea edulis in the Solent, UK. I am based at the Institute of Marine Sciences.

I studied Biology at Sussex University (1993-1996) followed by an MSc (Heriot-Watt University) at the Orkney based International Centre for Island Technology of Heriot-Watt University (1997-1998). Followed by a NERC funded PhD (University of Southampton) on the evolutionary history of the Topshell Osilinus (now Phorcus, Donald et al. 2012) in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. I went on to a post-doctoral research position at the Marine Biological Association of the UK working on a European project investigating anthropogenic impacts on European Genetic Marine Biodiversity (EUMAR) 2002-2005. After a career break to have children I returned science as a Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth on a molecular and microbial ecology research project to investigate sulfur and iron cycling in timbers of the Mary Rose Tudor Warship (2010-2012). After another short career break I returned to a part-time lecturer position in Marine Biology in 2014, and became principal lecturer and Marine Biology BSc Course leader in 2016.

I am an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Marine Biological Association.

Teaching Responsibilities


  • Course leader for Marine Biology BSc (Hons) degree:
  • Unit co-ordinator for Marine Organisms and Ecosystems 
  • I also teach on Biodiversity and Evolution, Marine Research Skills, Marine Organisms and Ecosystems, Coastal Ecosystems


  • Unit co-ordinator for the Research Toolkit (MSc Applied Aquatic Biology)


  • Restoration of the native oyster in the Solent, UK and Europe
  • Ecology and evolution of the native oyster Ostrea edulis
  • Host-microbiome interactions in benthic marine invertebrates
  • Genetic biodiversity of Porifera in the UK
  • Evolution of Trochids in the Mediterranean and NE Atlantic, and their relationship to Indo-Pacific species of the same taxonomic family.

Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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