Fisheries & Conservation Science Group
After completing a PhD at Bangor University I worked for CEFAS for eight years and since then have continued to develop my research interests in understanding how fishing affects marine ecosystems and how we can better manage our use of natural resources. To achieve this I have examined the efficacy of using Marine Protected Areas as management tools, the socio-economic impact of different approaches to fisheries management, and the development of an evidence-based approach to conservation. More recently I have been engaged in fishermen-scientist workshops to encourage dialogue and learning. Public duties include an appointment to the board of the Seafish Industry Authority and also to the board of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. I have published over 135 peer reviewed papers and have authored or edited 5 books and write articles for the popular press.
After graduating from Queen Mary’s University of London with an MSc in Marine Ecology and Environmental management, I worked as a marine ecologist at a small independent marine consultancy managing the impacts of marine related projects. I then worked on a 3 year cross-Channel EU project on cephalopod ecology and completed my PhD in conjunction with the Marine Biological Association and the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth on Cephalopod ecology, movement and behaviour, undertaking the first electronic tagging field study of the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) in the field. My research has been predominately fisheries and field-work based working directly with inshore potting fishermen, undertaking acoustic and data storage tagging studies and completing in situ scuba surveys of spawning grounds. I also have experience in developing presence-only and presence-absence species distribution models. My current role as a postdoctoral fisheries scientist on the Isle of Man involves developing and undertaking stock assessments and providing the science necessary to assist the government in managing the scallop, lobster and crab fisheries within the territorial sea.
I am a fisheries scientist focusing principally on the interaction between commercial static-gear fisheries in the Irish Sea and the biology of the shellfish resources they depend upon. I gained my BSc and MSc degrees at York University and have worked as a shellfish research scientist for the Holderness Fishing Industry Group, Orkney Sustainable Fisheries and the Cardigan Bay Fisherman’s Society. I am part of the Fisheries and Conservation Science group at Bangor University and am based on the Isle of Man within the Department for Environment, Food & Agriculture. I am leading on research related to the biology and life-history of lobster (H. gammarus), edible crab (C. pagurus) and whelk (B. undatum) and am contracted to supply evidence to inform sustainable management of static-gear fisheries within the Isle of Man territorial waters, whilst working towards a part-time PhD “Sustainable static-gear fisheries in the Irish Sea”.
I obtained a BSc in Ecology from Cardiff University, followed by a MSc in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Ulster. During my Masters, I investigated the reliability of fisher local knowledge collected in the Isle of Man. This, and experience working in an artisanal fishery in Greece, led me to begin a PhD with Bangor University and CEFAS. My project is titled “The Development of a Spatially Dynamic Fishery Model to Engage Fishermen in Management Strategy Evaluation”, and is centred on the need to better understand the spatial and temporal displacement of effort following management. The development of tools to better understand this displacement of effort following management actions could increase the confidence in and efficacy of management. The aim of this project is to develop a predictive model capable of forecasting the behaviour of scallop fishing vessels in relation to changing environmental and economic conditions, and the consequences of this for the fishery’s sustainability. A simulation model with a user interface that fishermen, managers, and scientists can use to explore the fishery dynamics will be a key output of the project. The central theme is finding the most appropriate course of action considering both economic and ecological sustainability.