Simon   Cragg, PhD

Simon Cragg, PhD

University of Portsmouth

Professor of Marine Zoology

Expertise: EndeavourShipwreckShipwormsMarine Biology

Professor Cragg is currently exploring mechanisms for digesting woody plant detritus in the marine environment. He is exploring environmental implications of woody detritus processing in the sea through the tropical sites run by Operation Wallacea and through his membership of the Mangrove Specialist Group of IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature).

Professor Cragg's research interests are:

- Wood Marine wood borers: the isopod Limnoria, teredinids (shipworms, Bivalvia) and the weevil Pselactus
- Innovative approaches to wood protection in the sea
- Teredinid and other bivalve larvae: anatomy and behaviour
- Borer-microorganism interactions:
       * ecology of epibiosis of ciliates on limnoriid exoskeletons
       * microorganisms in guts of borers
- The role of marine wood borers in maintaining biodiversity in mangrove ecosystems

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Cited By

Year

Lignocellulose degradation mechanisms across the Tree of Life

396

2015

Swimming behaviour of the larvae of Pecten maximus (L.) (Bivalvia)

130

1980

Molecular insight into lignocellulose digestion by a marine isopod in the absence of gut microbes

119

2010

Structural characterization of a unique marine animal family 7 cellobiohydrolase suggests a mechanism of cellulase salt tolerance

101

2013

The biology of scallop larvae

88

1991

Developments in the understanding of the biology of marine wood boring crustaceans and in methods of controlling them

75

1999

Development, physiology, behaviour and ecology of scallop larvae

72

2006

Diversity, environmental requirements, and biogeography of bivalve wood-borers (Teredinidae) in European coastal waters

71

2014

Illustrated glossary of the Bivalvia

66

2012

Investigating the taxonomy and systematics of marine wood borers (Bivalvia: Teredinidae) combining evidence from morphology, DNA barcodes and nuclear locus sequences

56

2012

The ultrastructure of the statocysts in the pediveliger larvae of Pecten maximus (L.)(Bivalvia)

51

1977

Laboratory screening of tropical hardwoods for natural resistance to the marine borer Limnoria quadripunctata: The role of leachable and non-leachable factors

42

2008

THE ADDUCTOR AND RETRACTOR MUSCLES OF THE VELIGER OF PECTEN MAXIMUS (L.) (BIVALVIA)

39

1985

The phylogenetic significance of some anatomical features of bivalve veliger larvae

36

1996

Introduction, dispersal and naturalization of the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum in British estuaries, 1980–2010

33

2015

The life history characteristics of the wood-boring bivalve Teredo bartschi are suited to the elevated salinity, oligotrophic circulation in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea

33

2009

THE CILIATED RIM OF THE VELUM OF LARVAE OF PECTEN MAXIMUS (BIVALVIA: PECTINIDAE)

33

1989

The swimming behaviour and the pressure responses of the veliconcha larvae of Ostrea edulis (L.)

33

1975

Biogeography of wood-boring crustaceans (Isopoda: Limnoriidae) established in European coastal waters

32

2014

Vascular plants are globally significant contributors to marine carbon fluxes and sinks

31

2020

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Professor Cragg's comments on the discovery of Endurance Endeavour is in excellent condition principally due to not getting eaten by marine wood borers (shipworms, xylophagaids, gribble). Shipworms have been the bane of wooden ships throughout history and determined ship design from the classical Greek period through to Nelson's time and even today. There are marine borers that can tolerate low water temperatures and gribble and the xylophagaids tolerate the very deep waters such as those where Endurance is located, shipworms are much more common in surface waters. Xylophagaids are related to shipworms and don't have a convenient vernacular name as they are mainly restricted to deep waters and so are rarely a threat to human activities (the xylo relates to wood: think xylophone, the phaga bit relates to eating). The lack of wood borers is probably due to lack of wood in the Antarctic, so no opportunity for borers to become established. The ocean current driven by winds that circulate around the Antarctic continent appears to act as a barrier to the spread of marine organisms from outside the polar area. Decay of wood by marine bacteria and marine fungi is very slow, especially at low temperatures.

- Shackleton's lost ship Endurance is found 107 years after sinking

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