My MSc thesis at Swansea University focused on marine turtle navigation and explored the theoretical mechanisms by which marine turtles as long-distance migrants with large remigration intervals, could potentially overcome, or compensate for secular variation in the earths magnetic field between migrations. After three seasons volunteering at Marine Turtle Conservation Project in North Cyprus I completed two contracts with British Antarctic Survey on South Georgia as a remote zoological field assistant. Here, working cheifly with albatrosses, I became starkly aware of the effects of fishing on long-lived species, inspiring me to pursue an applied PhD in fisheries conflicts.
Although the longest established fisheries sector, employing the most workers, artisanal fisheries are the least accounted for, most marginalised and in many regions have unknown impacts on biodiversity at many trophic levels. In the Eastern Mediterranean fishers interact with threatened seabirds, are responsible for thousands of turtle mortalities each year and are increasingly facing economic pressures at the hands of dolphin depredation and lessepsian migrant fish, conflicts which cause huge losses of earnings and effect the ways in which fishers use their gears. My PhD aims to define completely this little-understood fishery, examining the links between environmental pressures and the economic and environmental sustainability of the fishery, through anthropological and participatory research with fishers and ecological studies of conflict species and their interaction with fishing gears. I hope to feed this information into urgently required action plans for the management of mediterranean artisanal fisheries.
2003: BSc Zoology, Swansea University
2005: MSc Environmental Biology, Swansea University