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William Perry

Dr William Perry

Research Associate

School of Biosciences

Sir Martin Evans Building, Room Water Research Institute, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision


The power of molecular methods in ecology has always fascinated me and has been the primary driver of my research. Insights gained at the population and community level have been of particular interest.

Currently, I am working as a data analyst on the WEWASH project, applying molecular methods to better understand the ecology of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, and its relevance for wastewater epidemiology. The WEWASH project, and more broadly the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated the societal value of molecular ecology in the 21st century.

Previously, I applied molecular methods to topics relevant to a far more fundamental threat to human survival: the ecological crisis. These topics included population connectivity, impacts of the aquaculture industry and biomonitoring using eDNA.

Although I have worked with many biological systems, including viruses, bacteria, and plants, much of my research has focused on fish. This led to my appointment as Associate and Commentary Editor for the Journal of Fish Biology, as well as Publicity Coordinator for the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI).










I am currently based at the Water Research Institute in the School of Biosciences working as a postdoctoral researcher in the data analysis team on the WEWASH project. Here, I am involved in the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater around Wales.

Before this, I had completed a postdoctoral position at Bangor University on the LOFRESH project, with a secondment at the Water Research Institute. The LOFRESH project focused on understanding the ecological relevance of eDNA in rapidly moving fresh water. Primarily, I analysed data obtained from high throughput sequencing technologies and placed the results in an ecological context.

Prior to my postdoctoral research, I completed my PhD at Bangor University, which focused on the impact domesticated escapees from aquaculture are having on wild populations. Collaborating with the Institute of Marine Research, Norway, I applied a multitude of techniques, examining the effect of wild x domesticated hybridisation on everything from morphology to gut microbial communities.

My research journey started at the University of Bristol, where I completed my MSci. I was involved in two projects, the first examined the population genetics of a radiation of cichlids, and the second examined the population genetics of a species of deep sea shark.


I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Aquaculture
  • Domestication
  • Fish morphology
  • eDNA