My scientific interests primarily involve applied and fundamental research in zoology and marine biology, using empirical approaches at the intersection of the ecological sciences, technology, and the humanities, to better disentangle these wildlife and human interactions.
Marine mammals, seabirds, fishes, sharks and humans interact in the Chagos Archipelago in ways that are not fully yet understood.
Specifically, I am interested in 1) what are the species and abundance of cetaceans in the Chagos Archipelago, where do they use the reserve, and how protected are they there compared with elsewhere in the Indian Ocean?
2) How do we better tackle illegal, unreported, unregulated fisheries occurring inside the reserve?
3) How do seabirds, cetaceans, tunas, and sharks interact with each other and their prey?
Together with project partners in Sri Lanka, the Maldives and elsewhere in the UK, I’ll be attempting to answer these questions combining information from passive and active acoustics, BRUVS, catch statistics, patrol-based monitoring, and others, in order to improve the management of the Chagos Archipelago.
Only by studying marine animals in the last pockets of pristine wildlife can we fully appreciate their roles and functions in maintain healthy ecosystems.
Improving MPA ManagementUsing Drones for IUU Surveillance and Marine Megafauna Monitoring in MPAs
Improving MPA ManagementSocial Drivers for Shark Fishing Amongst Sri Lankan and Indian Fishers
Global distribution of marine ecosystem size structure
A Review of a Decade of Lessons From One of the World’s Largest MPAs: Conservation Gains and Key Challenges
Hays, G.C., Koldewey, H.J., Andrzejaczek, S., Attrill, M.J., Barley, S., Bayley, D.T.I., Benkwitt, C.E., Block, B., Schallert, R.J., Carlisle, A., Carr, P., Chapple, T.K., Collins, C., Diaz, C., Dunn, N., Dunbar, R.B., Eager, D.S., Engel, J., Embling, C.B., Esteban, N., Ferretti, F., Foster, N.L., Freeman, R., Gollock, M., Graham, N.A.J., Harris, J.L., Head, C.E.I, Hosegood, P., Howell, K.L., Hussey, N.E., Jacoby, D.M.P., Jones, R., Pilly, J.S., Lange, I.D., Letessier, T.B., Levy, E., Lindhart, M., McDevitt-Irwin, J.M., Meekan, M., Meeuwig, J.J., Micheli, F., Mogg, A., Mortimer, J.A., Mucciarone, D.A., Nicoll, M.A., Nuno, A., Perry, C., Preston, S.G., Rattray, A.J., Robinson, E., Roche, R., Schiele, M., Sheehan, E.V., Sheppard, A., Sheppard, C., Smith, A.L., Soule, B., Spalding, M., Stevens, G.M.W., Steyaert, M., Stiffel, S., Taylor, B.M., Tickler, D., Trevail, A.M., Trueba, P., Turner, J., Votier, S., Wilson, B., Williams, G., Williamson, B., Williamson, M.J., Wood, H. and Curnick, D.J. (2020) A review of a decade of lessons from one of the world’s largest MPAs: conservation gains and key challenges. Marine Biology.
Climate Oscillation and the Invasion of Alien Species Influence the Oceanic Distribution of Seabirds
Perez-Correa, J., Carr, P., Meeuwig, J., Koldewey, H.J. and Letessier, T. (2020) Climate oscillation and alien species invasion influences oceanic seabird distribution. Ecology and Evolution.
Improved Bathymetry Leads to 4000 New Seamount Predictions in the Global Ocean
Yesson, C., Letessier, T., Nimmo-Smith, A., Hosegood, P., Brierley, A., Harouin, M. and Proud, R. (2020) Improved bathymetry leads to 4000 new seamount predictions in the global ocean. UCL Open: Environment.
Using Perceptions to Examine Human Responses to Blanket Bans: the Case of the Thresher Shark Landing-Ban in Sri Lanka
Collins, C., Letessier, T.B., Broderick, A., Wijesundara, I. and Nuno, A. (2020) Using perceptions to examine human responses to blanket bans: the case of the thresher shark landing-ban in Sri Lanka. Marine Policy.
Influence of Altitude on Tropical Marine Habitat Classification using Imagery from Fixed-Wing, Water-Landing UAVs
Ellis, S.L., Taylor, M.L., Schiele, M. and Letessier, T.B. (2020) Influence of Altitude on Tropical Marine Habitat Classification using Imagery from Fixed-Wing, Water-Landing UAVs. Remote Sensing for Ecology and Conservation.