Paul McNeil

     Paul McNeil

     Research Assistant

     Funded by: Leverhulme Trust



I am currently employed as a Research Assistant within the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh as part of a Leverhulme Trust funded project testing the evolutionary basis of the longevity response to dietary restriction.  My research interests are broadly concerned with how animals respond to changes in their environment, particularly within the context of anthropogenic effects.

Previous to my post within the Walling lab, my PhD considered how environmental factors altered early development within Zebrafish (Danio rerio) and utilised an integrated approach to provide a more holistic appreciation of altered ontogeny. Specifically, novel environmental contaminants were assessed. Based within Professor Katherine Sloman’s lab at the University of the West of Scotland, I gained experience of fish husbandry, developmental biology, physiological testing and behavioural analysis. In addition, I was successful in obtaining a Travelling fellowship grant from the Company of Biologists to undertake a 6 week residency at Professor Katie Gilmour’s lab at the University of Ottawa where I gained experience of in vitro fertilisation techniques with fish and molecular analysis of HPI associated genes during Zebrafish embryogenesis.

My Undergraduate thesis (MSci) was conducted at the University of Glasgow where I explored how contemporary husbandry techniques could be applied to improve the welfare of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). This project specifically looked at the importance of conspecific interactions in mediating the expression of stereotypical behaviours in an isolated bull elephant.


McNeil PL, Nebot C, Cepeda A & Sloman KA 2016 Environmental concentrations of prednisolone alter visually mediated responses during early life stages of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Environmental Pollution 218: 981-987.

McNeil PL, Nebot C & Sloman KA 2016 Physiological and behavioural effects in response to environmentally relevant concentrations of prednisolone during zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryogenesis. Environmental Science and Technology 10: 5294-5304.

McNeil PL, Boyle D, Henry TB, Handy RD & Sloman KA 2014 The toxicity of metal nanoparticles on the lateral line system and associated behaviours in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. Aquatic Toxicology 152: 318-323.  

Sloman KA & McNeil PL, 2012. Using physiology and behaviour to understand the responses of fish early life stages to toxicants. Journal of Fish Biology 81: 2175-2198.