I am interested in the interactions between people and the environment, in particular how anthropogenic influences alter ecosystems and species behaviours.
My PhD (2011-2015), funded by a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS), sought to examine the influence of artificial light at night in freshwater ecosystems.
Light pollution is among the fastest growing anthropogenic influences on the natural environment, but there are major gaps in knowledge about the effects of artificial night lighting on most animals. This is particularly true in freshwater ecosystems, of which many have close proximity to sources of artificial light.
This research sought to determine any potential behavioural and ecological impacts of artificial night lighting on the predator-prey dynamics of wild freshwater fishes of high economic or conservation value (Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar) and their invertebrate prey.
The project combined experimental field and laboratory studies to examinine behavioural and physiological responses to broader spectrum street lighting including; shifts in diel rhythms, cortisol stress response, and predator-prey interactions. Any influence of artificial light will have implications for the conservation and management of threatened fish populations and results can be used to provide an evidence base for policy decisions and management of artificial night light regimes affecting UK rivers.