I’m a marine ecologist with a research focus on top predator foraging distributions. Using acoustics (multibeam sonar, echosounders, ADCPs), in combination with visual survey techniques (e.g. UAV surveys), I investigate the interactions between marine fauna (e.g. sharks, seals, seabirds), their prey (e.g. fish, zooplankton) and fine-scale hydrodynamics. My research in tidal stream environments aims to inform the sustainable development of ocean energy.
Appointed as a Bryden Centre Research Fellow in Jan 2019, I am based at the Queen’s University Belfast Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, situated on the shores of the Narrows tidal channel, Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, UK.
I completed my doctorate at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. I've always had an interest in sharks and first worked on population genetics of basking sharks and then initiated research towards developing hydroacoustic tools to visualise sharks, their immediate habitat and underlying hydrodynamics. For instance, during my PhD, I used high-frequency multibeam sonar to detect basking sharks off the West Coast of Scotland. Since then, I've gained a lot of hands-on experience in active acoustic data collection, work which has taken me further afield, e.g. the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory; 2016), South Africa (Robben and Dassen Island; 2016) and Ningaloo Reef (Western Australia; 2018) as part of on-going collaborations with the University of St Andrews.