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Personal profile

Biography

I joined Cefas in 2001, where I have led research into the behavioural ecology and spatial dynamics of commercially exploited and vulnerable marine fish and shellfish.  I have progressed novel techniques for measuring population characteristics and connectivity, with notable successes in the application of archival tags in the estimation of fish location and the determination of seasonal distributions, and in linking the results of archival tagging programmes to additional natural markers, notably the chemistry of otoliths (fish ‘ear-stones’) which can provide information on the lifetime movements of individuals.

The applied focus of my Cefas research has allowed me to consider the complex relationships between fish behaviour, environmental change and fishing, and the implications for the sustainable exploitation of fish stocks into the future. I have published over 40 scientific papers, have produced articles for papers including the Daily Telegraph, have appeared on television, including the BBC’s “Coast”. As a regular gov.uk marine science blogger, I increasingly employ social media to achieve broader societal impact from Cefas work.

In 2012, I was responsible for producing the “Framework Document” that guided the independent review panel through Cefas' successful Science Review 2012. I am currently the chair of Science Development, where I am directly responsible for Cefas’ graduate programme (currently 80 PhD students) and Science Excellence KPIs (publications and strategic self-investment). As an active R&D scientist I  currently lead the Defra-funded C-Bass project (Population studies in support of the conservation of the European seabass). Other successfully delivered programmes include MEMFISH (Macro-ecology of marine finfish in UK waters, Defra), PREDATE (Detecting predation of fish eggs and larvae, Defra) and PlaiceLifeLine (EU).

I was awarded an honorary readership at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia in August 2015, sit on the Advisory Board for the School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, and the Executive Committee for the University of Southampton led 'Spitfire' DTP. I am a mentor under the University of Aberdeen Alumnus scheme, and currently supervise five PhD students. I am also an associate editor for the Springer International journal Marine Biology.

Network

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