Jay Willis

Research Assistant


Research Interests

Adaptations for low drag, downforce and eddy use in hill stream loaches.

Hillstream loaches effortlessly exploit environments where flow rates are so high that they wash potential competitors away. To cope with these extreme flow rates hillstream loaches have evolved adaptations to stick to the bottom, equivalent to the downforce generating wings and skirts of F1 racing cars, and skin architecture reminiscent of the drag-reducing riblets of Mako sharks. However, the flows hillstream loaches live in are more severe than either Mako sharks or F1 cars experience. Hillstream loaches exhibit far more diverse flow-modifying morphological features than fast pelagic predators, suggesting as yet unknown drag reducing systems remain to be discovered.



Email: jay.willis@zoo.ox.ac.uk



Selected Publications

  • Willis, J. 2014. Whales maintained a high abundance of krill; both are ecosystem engineers in the Southern Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 513:51-69

  • Willis J. 2013. Wake sorting, selective predation and biogenic mixing: potential reasons for high turbulence in fish schools. PeerJ 1:e96; DOI 10.7717/peerj.96

  • Willis, J. 2011 Modelling swimming aquatic animals in hydrodynamic models. Ecological Modelling 222 3869-3887 doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.10.004

  • Herbert, R. J. H., Willis, J. Jones, E., Ross, K., Hübner, R., Humphreys, J., Jensen, A., Baugh, J. 2011 Invasion in tidal zones on complex coastlines: modelling larvae of the non-native manila clam (Ruditapes philppinarum) in the UK. Journal of Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02626.x

  • Willis, J., Phillips, J. B., Muheim, R., Diego-Rasilla, F. J. & Hobday, A. J. 2009 Spike dives of juvenile southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii): a navigational role?. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. DOI 10.1007/s00265-009-0818-2

  • Guilford, T., Meade, J., Willis, J., Phillips, R.A., Boyle, D., Roberts, S., Collett, M., Freeman, R. and Perrins, C.M., 2009. Migration and stopover in a small pelagic seabird, the Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus: insights from machine learning. Proc Roy Soc B-Biological Sciences 276 1660 1215-1223

  • Willis, J., 2008. Simulation model of universal law of school size distribution applied to southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) in the Great Australian Bight. Ecological Modelling 213 33–44

  • Willis, J., Hobday A., 2007. Influence of upwelling on movement of southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) in the Great Australian Bight. Mar Freshwater Res. 58:699-708