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Steve Votier

Most of my research revolves around understanding the ecology of marine animals. I’m particularly keen to understand how seabirds respond to a changing world by studying their behaviour (foraging and movement especially), demography and community composition. I work with lots of different (and nice) people across a wide range of locations and species, including gannets, gulls and guillemots in the UK, albatrosses in the Southern Ocean, penguins in South Africa and boobies in the Tropics.

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Steve Votier

Most of my research revolves around understanding the ecology of marine animals. I’m particularly keen to understand how seabirds respond to a changing world by studying their behaviour (foraging and movement especially), demography and community composition. I work with lots of different (and nice) people across a wide range of locations and species, including gannets, gulls and guillemots in the UK, albatrosses in the Southern Ocean, penguins in South Africa and boobies in the Tropics. I'm currently based at Heriot-Watt University, where I'm a Professor in Seabird Ecology & Conservation.

Richard Sherley

I am a Lecturer in the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation in Cornwall, an affiliate at the Fitz Patrick Institute of African Ornithology (University of Cape Town) and a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow (2019–2021). My research aims to understand what drives population change in marine vertebrates and develop strategies to conserve declining species. I’m particularly interested in the drivers of dispersal behaviour and survival of non-breeders as these issues have received little attention in marine predators, even though they may play vital roles in buffering populations against collapse. Other key areas of interest include researching the best ways to account for the foraging needs of predators in fisheries management and how to objectively incorporate uncertainty into conservation decision making. 

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Alice Trevail

My research is focused on understanding the environmental drivers of animal movement. In particular, I'm interested in animal habitat choice whilst foraging, given the heterogeneity of habitat types and foraging opportunities within an individual's surrounding environment. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus as a post-doctoral researcher on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Seabird project, in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London. This project principally aims to understand the importance of the BIOT Marine Protected Area for habitat use of non-breeding seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean.

Liam Langley

I’m a PhD student researching the effects of anthropogenic change on generalist species using the Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) as a case study. My interests include foraging ecology, habitat use, urban ecology and using tracking technology to address ecological questions. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus. My supervisors are Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter), Niall Burton (BTO), Tim Frayling (Natural England) and Alex Banks (Natural England). My project is funded by NERC iCASE and the project partners are the BTO and Natural England.

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Billy Mills

I'm a PhD student researching the foraging ecology, diet and trophic structure of seabird communities. My work makes use of conventional diet analyses and stables isotopes, and my study sites include South Georgia (South Atlantic) and the Faroe Islands (North Atlantic). I'm based with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge. I'm supervised by Prof Richard Phillips (BAS), Prof Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Prof Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter) and Dr Yves Cherel (CNRS-Université de La Rochelle). My project is funded by through the NERC GW4+ DTP.

Jennifer Grigg

I’m doing a PhD on the causes and consequences of dispersal and recruitment in immature seabirds. Using the African penguin (Spheniscus demsersus) as my study species, I will use biologging technology and population modelling to understand the vulnerable early years of life. Our results will guide local collaborators and the South African Government in the development of Marine Protected Areas and in the formation of a new penguin colony in South Africa. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus. My supervisors are Richard Sherley, Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Dave Hodgson (University of Exeter) and Alison Cotton (Bristol Zoological Society). My project is funded by University of Exeter and Bristol Zoological Society.

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Hannah Meinertzhagen

I’m a PhD student studying the effect of wind on seabird flight and the implications of this for assessing their risk to offshore wind farms. My research mainly focusses on gannets (Morus bassanus). I use GPS tracking data coupled with remotely sensed wind data to investigate how changes in wind patterns influence the movements and behaviour of seabirds. Ultimately, I plan to apply this to understand the vulnerability of seabirds to offshore windfarms in a changing climate. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus. I'm supervised by Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Jason Chapman, Matt Witt (University of Exeter), Rob Thomas (Cardiff University) and Bob Furness (MacArthur Green). My project is funded by NERC GW4+ DTP.

Kelly Atkins

My PhD research examines how the utilisation of food subsidies, in the form of discards from commercial fisheries, influences the foraging behaviour and spatial ecology of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) across age classes, during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. Understanding the extent to which this occurs throughout the population and geographic range of the species can help inform marine spatial planning efforts and shed light on the consequences of fisheries policy changes. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus, where I'm supervised by Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University) and Stuart Bearhop (University of Exeter). My project is funded by University of Exeter.

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Amanda Kuepfer

I’m particularly interested in the impacts of anthropogenic activities on seabirds. In January 2019, I embarked on my PhD, funded by Fortuna Ltd. and the Falkland Islands Government, to investigate the importance of fisheries in influencing the black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) population breeding in the Falkland Islands. The research will lend support to an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, and help predict future population trends of this internationally important species. Based in the Falkland Islands, my PhD is affiliated to Heriot-Watt University (Steve Votier), University of Exeter (Stuart Bearhop), ISPA Instituto Universitário (Paulo Catry), South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (Paul Brickle) and the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department (Alexander Arkhipkin).

 

Molly Kressler

I’m a PhD student working with juvenile lemon sharks in Bimini, Bahamas; looking specifically at their foraging ecology in a complex mangrove nursery habitat. My interests include behavioural ecology, predator-prey dynamics, habitat use, and the impact of coastal development on behaviour. I'm based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus and conduct annual fieldwork at the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation (BBFSF; Bahamas). My supervisors are Richard Sherley, Sasha Dall (University of Exeter), and Matthew Smukall (BBFSF). My project is funded by the University of Exeter, the BBFSF, and philanthropic donation.

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Stephanie Good

I’m a part time PhD student investigating practical management approaches to addressing the problem of seabird bycatch in fisheries. The scope of my project is global but with particular emphasis on the bycatch of albatross and petrel species. My objective is to establish best practices in setting objectives, assessing risk, defining thresholds, and conducting monitoring to support informed decision making for management agencies, global sustainability standard setters and other stakeholders with an interest in minimising seabird bycatch.  I’m supervised by Richard Phillips (British Antarctic Survey), Steve Votier (Heriot-Watt University), Richard Sherley (University of Exeter) and Rachel Turner (University of Exeter).

 

Jacqui Glencross

I’m a PhD student researching the impacts of human activity on the foraging behaviour of marine predators. I use GPS tracking and sonar data to understand prey acquisition by birds at sea and if/how fishing might impact birds by perturbing prey abundance, distribution and aggregation. My research focuses on the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) and the South African fisheries closure experiment.  I am based at the University of St Andrews. My supervisors are Andrew Brierley (University of St Andrews) and Richard Sherley (University of Exeter). My project is funded by the University of St Andrews.

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Stephen Lang

My research interests lie in understanding the foraging strategies of predators, and how they hunt over time, across space, and in groups. I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus, where I work with Richard Sherley on a project investigating the impacts of fishing activity on African penguins. By identifying foraging events in high-resolution biologging data (including accelerometery and animal-borne video), I try and find ways of predicting foraging success in larger historical tracking datasets, to ultimately understand how fishing affects the energetic landscape of foraging penguins. This work is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of Exeter