Head of Ascension Island Government Conservation Department/ Visiting Researcher, University of Exeter

My research work to date has focussed on a variety of different species, but is underpinned by my interest in the use of scientific research to inform practical conservation and management decisions. Working with government organisations, academic institutions and also conservation NGOs has allowed me to explore how research can be applied to practical issues.

My PhD research examined how the social structure, space use, and contact patterns of a wild badger population may influence the spread of bovine tuberculosis, an economically costly wildlife disease, and explored the results in the context of implications for management strategies.

I am currently based on Ascension Island, where I first came with my husband to carry out research on the green sea turtles that nest in large numbers here. We became heavily involved with the Ascension Island Conservation Department and are now leading the practical conservation and research work carried out here. Through a Darwin Initiative funded project with lead partners at the University of Exeter, UK, we are currently working to develop and initiate the first National Biodiversity Action Plan for the Island.

Experience

  • –present
    Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Exeter

Education

  • 2011 
    University of Exeter, PhD Biological Sciences
  • 2008 
    University of Exeter, MSc Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 2007 
    University of St Andrews, BSc (Hons) Marine and Environmental Biology