I am a marine ecologist passionate about using technology to understand and communicate complex patterns and processes in our ocean. My interest in ocean observation technologies began 10 years ago when I explored acoustic imaging sonars to visualise basking shark interactions as part of my MASTS Prize PhD at the University of Aberdeen. My research has since focused on quantifying bio-physical drivers underlying marine predator foraging behaviour and movements in the context of a changing ocean (anthropogenic activity, climate warming). I embrace opportunities for inter-disciplinary knowledge exchange to find innovation in tools applied elsewhere. This includes the use of aerial drones demonstrating that seabird foraging movements are driven by localised physical features enhancing prey availability, or the use of bio-acoustic instrumentation (multibeam, echosounders, ADCPs) to quantify interactions between predators and dynamic or patchy bio-physics. A long-term vision of my research effort is the stepwise integration of physical, chemical and acoustic sensors with biological sampling (imaging, tracking), thereby capturing biological scales ranging from microscopic plankton to large vertebrates. From previous positions at Queen’s University Belfast, Bangor University and research expeditions with St Andrews University, I have an in-depth knowledge of in-situ data collection and started at the MBA in autumn 2023.
Research Group: Biophysics of a Changing Ocean: From Plankton to Predators