Lecturer in Marine Vertebrate Zoology, University of Portsmouth

I am a marine scientist specialising in vertebrate ecology, animal behaviour, and underwater acoustics.

Originally from Scotland, I completed an BSc (Hons) Zoology at the University of Aberdeen followed by an MRes Marine Mammal Science at the University of St Andrews. In 2010, I travelled to Australia to work on various marine mammal research projects “for a few months” - which turned into eight years!

During my time in Australia, I completed a PhD in Applied Physics with the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST) at Curtin University. My doctoral thesis examined coastal dolphins and noisy environments, focusing on bottlenose dolphins and snubfin dolphins in Western Australia. Following my PhD, I worked on research projects studying marine megafauna, anthropogenic disturbance, and animal movement at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. I also gained industry experience as an environmental consultant working on marine impact assessments in both Australia and South-East Asia. In 2018, I returned to the UK to begin work at the University of Portsmouth as a Lecturer in Marine Biology.

In addition to conducting research, I have also spent several years working as a science communicator and tertiary educator. I am a strong supporter of both public engagement and citizen science.

I am an Associate Editor for Austral Ecology and Blog Editor for the Journal of Animal Ecology. I also sit on the Media Committee for the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life conference.

My research focuses primarily on marine megafauna, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions), birds, and fish. I am particularly interested in aspects of:

Animal behaviour
Bioacoustics
Citizen science
Habitat-use
Human disturbance
Marine soundscapes
Marine ecology
Movement patterns
Underwater acoustics

Experience

  • –present
    Research Associate in Bioacoustics, Curtin University

Education

  • 2017 
    Curtin University, PhD Applied Physics
  • 2009 
    University of St Andrews, MRes Marine Mammal Science
  • 2008 
    University of Aberdeen, BSc (Hons) Zoology