My interests span conservation biology, population dynamics, foraging ecology, spatial ecology, migration ecology and predictive modelling. To date, my research has focused on quantifying the interactions between seabirds and the marine environment. By understanding how these apex marine predators use and respond to their environment over different temporal and spatial scales we will be better placed to understand how they may respond to potential threats such as offshore development and climatic change. To answer these questions I use a range of techniques including stable isotope analysis, bio-logging technology, and theoretical models.
I am currently working on a NERC funded project with Prof. Bob Furness and Dr Richard Phillips (British Antarctic Survey) examining the impacts climate change may have on the migration of prions. These seabirds breed on islands in the southern oceans, and feed almost exclusively on large copepods. Due to recent climatic change plankton species have shifted in distribution toward the poles, and prions will have to adapt their migration strategies to match this change. The aim of the project is to examine the winter distribution of these birds using bio-logging and stable isotope analysis and then compare that with historical distributions inferred from museum specimens. Using this information we will be better placed to understand how seabirds may respond to the effects of climatic change.
For additional information about my current and past research, and photography, see my personal research website.