I am a marine ecologist interested in developing our understanding of current and future animal movements within marine and coastal habitats. I apply that knowledge to the development of appropriate conservation policies for long term protection of species and their habitats. I have been also studying sea turtles in the British Indian Ocean Territory since 2012, working closely with Prof. Graeme Hays from Deakin University.
During 2012-2018, we satellite tracked 35 post-nesting green turtles (Chelonia mydas) using Fastloc-GPS telemetry and recorded a huge range in migrations, from 75 km within the BIOT MPA to >4000 km to distant foraging grounds on the East coast of Africa. Our current work in the Western Indian Ocean, includes use of satellite telemetry to increase our understanding of key nesting and foraging grounds for both green turtles and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). We are also conducting long-term monitoring of sea turtle nesting and foraging populations in BIOT. This includes long-term records of sand temperature to assess likely sea turtle hatchling sex ratios and hatching success.
Our satellite tracking research in the British Indian Ocean Territory has led to discoveries of extensive seagrass meadows on the Great Chagos Bank at unexpected depths of 25-30 meters, providing critical habitats for juvenile fish populations and foraging green turtles.
Sentinel Species ResearchThe Ecology of Sea Turtles in the British Indian Ocean Territory
Currently investigating the impacts of plastics on sea turtles and hoping to use results to influence use of plastic in BIOT. Darwin Initiative funded project (2019-2022): Reducing the impacts of plastic on the BIOT natural environment.