The detailed data collected enables us to investigate the influence of environmental variables on the location of different behaviors, including foraging. Analysis of the tracking data allows me to build up a picture of how these birds us the BIOT Marine Protected Area (MPA) for feeding.
This kind of information is essential in order to identify and define ecologically important areas and to predict how behaviours may change in response to external factors such as climate change or rat infestation.
To investigate the behavior and spatial distribution of seabirds, we have been fitting breeding red footed boobies (Sula sula) and brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) with tracking devices and activity loggers. The detailed data we have collected on the fine scale movements of these birds can be explored through the use of new and innovative statistical analysis and modelling techniques.
Marine Protected Areas can be a vital tool for the conservation of ocean life, but for them to be truly effective we need to understand when and how the space within them is used by wildlife.
Sentinel Species ResearchThe Importance of the British Indian Ocean Territory for Seabirds
I am interested in doing applied research which has direct implications for conservation and management of marine areas. In particular, I enjoy studying the movement and behaviour of marine top predators, and the use of biotelemetry as a tool to investigate animal activity.
My research has also focussed on the use of Hidden Markov Models to detect and investigate behaviours from movement data, in order to predict behavioural changes in relation to external factors such as climate.