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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

 Francesco Garzon

Francesco Garzon

PhD student


 Hatherly B11


Hatherly Building, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK


I am a marine biologist and conservationist whose research is focused on understanding patterns of distribution and movement of large animals using satellite tracking technology and computer-based modelling. I am interested in investigating how the relationships of marine animals with their environment and how to use spatial data to improve conservation.

After completing my MSci degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology at the University of Exeter (Penryn campus), I have worked as a researcher for the NGO MarAlliance in Cape Verde, studying the spatial ecology of a variety of shark and ray species. I am now a PhD student in Dr Witt and Dr Hawkes' lab, researching the spatial ecology of sea turtles and billfish in the Gulf of Guinea and responses of sharks to recreational angling.

I am a teaching assistant on Marine Biology (BIO2074) and the Coral Reef field course (BIO2081).


MSci Conservation Biology and Ecology, University of Exeter, 2018.


2018 - 2020  Research Officer, MarAlliance.


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Research interests

I am interested in the movements of marine animals and how they use and connect ecosystems at varying spatial scales. Understanding the interactions between animals and the environment can give us insights into the workings of natural systems and be used to plan or manage conservation. In my research, I make use of state-of-the-art tracking technology and data analysis methods to bring together different sources of data and investigate spatial patterns of movement and abundance.

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Journal articles

Williams CT, Garzon F, Cochran JEM, Tanabe LK, Hawkes LA, McIvor AJ, Eweida AA, Marshall PA, Berumen ML (2024). Low diversity and abundance of predatory fishes in a peripheral coral reef ecosystem. Ecol Evol, 14(2). Abstract.  Author URL.
Horton TW, Exeter O, Garzon F, Gordon C, Hawkes LA, Hood A, Righton D, Silva JF, Witt MJ (2023). Best practices for catch-and-release shark angling: current scientific understanding and future research. Fisheries Research, 267 Abstract.
Tanabe LK, Cochran JEM, Williams CT, Garzon F, Langner U, Hardenstine RS, Hawkes LA, Brainard RE, Eweida AA, Marshall PA, et al (2023). Case report: tracking data from foraging hawksbill turtles in the northern Red Sea. Animal Biotelemetry, 11(1). Abstract.
Garzon F, Barrientos C, Anvene RE, Mba FE, Fallabrino A, Formia A, Godley BJ, Gonder MK, Prieto CM, Ayetebe JM, et al (2023). Spatial ecology and conservation of leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting in Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. PLoS One, 18(6). Abstract.  Author URL.
Garzon F, Seymour ZTA, Monteiro ZL, Graham RT (2023). Spatial ecology of a newly described oceanic manta ray population in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine Biology, 170(6). Abstract.
Garzon F, Williams CT, Cochran JEM, Tanabe LK, Abdulla A, Berumen ML, Habis T, Marshall PA, Rodrigue M, Hawkes LA, et al (2022). A multi-method characterization of Elasmobranch & Cheloniidae communities of the north-eastern Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba. PLoS One, 17(9). Abstract.  Author URL.
Garzon F, Graham RT, Baremore I, Castellanos D, Salazar H, Xiu C, Seymour Z, Witt MJ, Hawkes LA (2021). Nation-wide assessment of the distribution and population size of the data-deficient nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). PLoS ONE, 16(8 August). Abstract.
Garzon F, Graham RT, Witt MJ, Hawkes LA (2020). Ecological niche modeling reveals manta ray distribution and conservation priority areas in the Western Central Atlantic. Animal Conservation, 24(3), 322-334. Abstract.

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