Following my studies in aquatic science, I worked at the Environment Agency and then as an ecological consultant, undertaking surveys and writing Environmental Impact Assessments in the UK and internationally. I now work at the Centre for Environment and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) where I am a Marine Climate Change Scientist.
Broad research specialisms:
My research focuses on the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, and on working with government to enable climate change adaptation. I am particularly interested in the climate change effects on species distributions and how management can help us adapt to or mitigate for these changes.
Project Title: Using models to predict the effects of climate change on the distribution of marine species
Supervisors: Steve Simpson (University of Exeter), Jon Tinker (Met Office), John Pinnegar (Cefas)
Funding Body: Cefas - Exeter Strategic Alliance
Models are beginning to be developed for predicting how climate change might affect production and distribution of marine species in the UK and worldwide. As more climatic projections become available, with more time slices and emissions scenarios considered, ecological response predictions may offer more useful insights to marine managers.
The aim of this PhD is to apply a variety of different modelling tools (both statistical and dynamic) to try to explore past and future changes in fish and invertebrate distributions. Models will include Generalised Additive Models and Bioclimate Envelope Models.
Models will be used to investigate the effects of climate on the Barents Sea cod stock, on non-native species and harmful algal bloom distributions around the UK, and on the effects of climate change-related oxygen changes on fisheries.
F. C. Neat, V. Bendall, B. Berx., P. J. Wright, M. Ó. Cuaig, B. Townhill, P-J. Schön, J. Lee & D. Righton (in press) Movement of Atlantic cod around the British Isles Journal of Applied Ecology Journal of Applied Ecology.
Townhill, B.L., Pinnegar, J.K., Righton, D. A., Metcalfe, J. D. (under review) Fisheries, low oxygen and climate change: how much do we really know? Journal of Fish Biology.
Pinnegar, J.K., Townhill, B.L., Birchenough, S., Mackinson, S., Le Quesne, W. (under review) Ocean acidification and the possible loss of ophiuroids: how would commercial fish be affected? ICES Journal of Marine Science.
Townhill, B.L., Figueira, C. (2012) Preventing local extinctions in aquatic habitats Environmental Scientist The Journal of the Institution of Environmental Sciences April 2012 pp 21-23.
Townhill, B.L. and Pinnegar, J.K. (2013) Historical diets, food web dynamics and climate change in the Arctic ICES ASC 2013 Conference Proceedings CM 2013/B:02.
Righton, D., Townhill, B. and van der Kooij, J. (2009) Catch me if you can: archival tagging can help assess changes in the accessibility of Atlantic cod to trawl gears ICES ASC 2009 Conference Proceedings.