About Me

Tasman booby chick Phillip Island
Tasman booby chick Phillip Island

 I am a deeply passionate nature conservation scientist with a background in behavioural and movement ecology in marine and aquatic environments. I am particularly interested in the interactive and cumulative effects of anthropogenic processes such as habitat loss, removal (e.g. fisheries, poaching, collecting), pollution and climate-driven variation on movement, foraging and behavioral ecology of upper predators, migratory and marine taxa.

 

I have spent the past 4 years working with the worlds largest movement database that has millions of data points tracking the movements of many species of waterfowl that either breed or overwinter in California. We are investigating all aspects of the ecology of these taxa including migration, movement behavior, foraging and habitat availability and the impacts of anthropogenic factors and disturbance.

 

Prior to that I spent 6 years researching seabirds, and worked as a seabird ecologist in varied locations and habitats, with numerous species since 2009. Projects have investigated a variety of topics including spatial and foraging ecology, movement patterns, migration, behavior, environmental interactions, trophic mechanisms influencing prey availability and behavior, evolutionary ecology and climate change impacts. Pelagic species are of particular interest for sampling remote oceanic areas which are very difficult to access, and I used large populations of wedge-tailed shearwaters (Ardenna pacifica) on the Great Barrier Reef (Heron Island in the  Capricorn Bunker Group) as the model species for my Honours and PhD studies.

As a result of my extensive research on Heron Island, I worked with Sir David Attenborough as scientific consultant and seabird expert on location at Heron Island in November 2014 for the BBC documentary "David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef", a role that was ongoing through final production. This was, of course, an incredible experience which enhanced even further, my enthusiasm for broadening the reach of scientific research into the public realm to best benefit global conservation efforts and understanding of all planetary organisms

 

Some of my PhD data were presented on the excellent interactive website of that program, showing the migratory paths taken by my shearwaters upon their departure from Heron Island at the conclusion of the breeding season. Open this page and click through to the 8th page (to the seabird icon) to see that graphic animation of those movements I tracked, and an interview with me about the birds on the subsequent page.....

* This site provides information about my past and current research interests, publications and various links relevant to my work. I am very interested in collaborations. More minds create better science so if you are interested in any potential collaborative research, please don't hesitate to contact me or if you have any questions, comments, information or suggestions regarding this site.