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Personal profile

Biography

I am a conservation ecologist interested in environmental change, movement ecology and alleviating anthropogenic pressures. My PhD project 'Improving the detection and estimation of birds' collision risk with energy infrastructure' aims to reduce the risk posed by energy infrastructure to large birds with particular focus upon white storks Ciconia ciconia. On the Iberian peninsula this species is particularly vulnerable to collisions with power lines and other energy infrastructure; as demand for new renewable energy developments increases to help combat climate change it will become increasingly more important to understand where and when birds are at greatest risk of collision with new and existing infrastructure.  Under the supervision of the White stork project team lead by Dr Aldina Franco a UEA, I will be fitting the latest GPS trackers to individual white storks; this will allow almost unprecedented understanding of the movements and behaviour of this species in relation to energy infrastructure and highlight where the collision risk hot spots are within Portugal and Southern Spain.

 

Previously I worked as an ecological consultant at Direct Ecology Ltd in Scotland where I specialised in ornithology, protected species survey, GIS and ecological clerk of works. Of greatest relevance to my current work is a survey project in Orkney working on behalf of SSE performing vantage point and other bird surveys to assess the impact of a powerline proposal upon birds in the Orkney archipelago. Along side this work I also ran a youth group for the RSPB as a volunteer (Edinburgh RSPB Phoenix Group) and prior to my position at Direct Ecology I worked at Scottish Water as a GIS technician.

My interests outside of work include bird watching, cycling and scuba diving.

Academic Career

NEXUSS DTP Funded PhD Project (UEA): 'Improving the detection and estimation of birds' collision risk with energy infrastructure' (Current)

Supervised by: Dr Aldina Franco (UEA)

Co-supervisors: Dr Phil Aitkinson (British Trust for Ornithology), Dr Jaoa P Silva (University of Lisbon) and Dr Paul Record (Herriot Watt University). 

MSc Ecosystem Services (University of Edinburgh), Part time 2012 - 2014

For this MSc I was awarded a Distinction and award for overall contribution to the programme.

This multidisciplinary MSc furthered my knowledge of environmental management and allowed me to dig deeper into key economic and social issues relevant to conservation.

Core themes: ecological economics, marine systems and policy, spatial analysis (GIS), ecosystem function, ecosystem valuation, survey design, quantitative analysis, stakeholder engagement, environmental governance and remote sensing.

Thesis topic: Evaluating the Impact of Saltmarsh Restoration upon Carbon Sequestration in Coastal Ecosystems; in partnership with the RSPB.

 

BSc (hons) Ecology and Conservation (University of Sussex), 2008 - 2011

Core themes: environmental and sustainable development issues, botanical survey (Phase I and NVC), environmental legislation, environmental chemistry, conservation management, protected area design (UK), field survey design (UK and Ecuador), evolutionary genetics, ornithological survey and invertebrate survey.

Thesis topic: Do plants possess higher genetic population structure than animals?

 

Network

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