Michael Leaver graduated in 1983 with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Aberdeen, UK, before completing a PhD in Aquatic Ecotoxicology at the Marine Laboratory, also in Aberdeen. After a brief spell at the Water Research Centre, Medmenham, UK, he took up a posdoctoral fellowship in the NERC Unit of Aquatic Biochemistry, University of Stirling in 1989. Up until 1998, Dr Leavers research focused on xenobiotic metabolism in fish, with a particular interest in the regulation of pollutant metabolising genes. These studies led to the development of biomarkers for monitoring pollutant impact in marine ecosystems. In 1999 Dr Leaver moved to a postdoctoral position in the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, where is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer. Here his research interests have broadened, with, in addition to ecotoxicology, emphasis on studies into the regulation of lipid biosynthesis and metabolism in Atlantic salmon, and on genome evolution, particularly with regard to the distribution of mobile genetic elements (transposons) in fish. Funding for these activities has been obtained from the BBSRC, NERC, European Union, OECD and others. Dr Leaver teaches on various parts of the Marine Biology BSc, Aquaculture MSc, Aquatic Pathobiology MSc and Marine Biotechnology MSc programs at the University of Stirling. He is also the Departmental Safety Officer and Biological Safety Officer.
Ecotoxicology. Understanding the mechanisms of susceptibility and resistance to environmental pollution in fish, with the aim of assessing pollutant effects on contaminated ecosystems, and developing biomarkers for environmental monitoring.
Fish Nutrition. Regulation of energy and lipid homeostasis in farmed fish, particularly with regard to the formulation of aquaculture diets using alternative feedstuffs.
Genome structure and evolution. The distribution and function of mobile genetic elements in fish genomes and their involvement in fish genome evolution and evolutionary adaptation.