My background is in field ecology and science communication, having previously worked as a bird surveyor, badger surveyor and college science technician. I began to specialise in ecological subject areas shortly into my BSc degree in Zoology, and have also become interested in the role behavioural studies can play in conservation research. Ringing and nest recording I find very enjoyable and these open the door to studying avian demography in fine detail. My study species are birds including the herring gull, and currently the cuckoo and its host on Dartmoor, the meadow pipit.
Broad research specialisms:
Avian diet and behavioural ecology, demographic study and conservation.
BSc (Hons) Zoology, Newcastle University 2006-2009
MRes Ecology & Environmental Biology, University of Glasgow 2010-2011
Project Title: Testing agricultural impacts on breeding ground food resources as a driver of Cuckoo population decline
Funding Body: NERC
The cuckoo Cuculus canorus is generally a declining species in the UK and across Europe, but with very different population trends on agricultural land compared to semi-natural habitats, and in England compared to Scotland. Research into the species’ diet and habitat requirements for conservation is lacking; its low population density, wary nature, long-distance migration and unusual brood-parasitic strategy of reproduction create barriers to conventional field research. The current project aims to study diet and habitat sensitivities through a variety of established and novel means, in order to try and understand the role of land-use in driving cuckoo population dynamics.