My research background is in behavioural ecology, focusing on how animals alter their behaviours in response to their environment and implications for biodiversity conservation. For my BSc project, I studied how variation in the ratio of artificial Batesian models and mimics influenced their predation rates by wild birds (supervisor: Dr Tom Reader, University of Nottingham). For my MSc project, I studied how forest edges influenced nest site selection in blue tits in the French Pyrenees (supervisor: Dr Andy Russell, University of Exeter). Broadly speaking, I am interested in ecological mechanisms driven by animal behaviour.
I started my PhD at Bangor University in October 2018. My research is focusing on fallow deer habitat use in woodland environments in North Wales. Overly abundant deer are having devastating impacts on woodland structure and biodiversity across the UK. Browsing of understory vegetation prevents forest regeneration and succession, reduces plant community diversity and removes complex vegetation structure that provides important habitats for woodland birds and invertebrates. To address this, I am studying an expanding population of fallow deer in the Elwy Valley. I will be studying the behaviour of the deer using camera trap data and collecting seasonal faecal samples to monitor changes in their diet. I have also collected mobile terrestrial laser scanning data to quantify the structural complexity of the understorey. My primary supervisor is Dr Graeme Shannon (School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University). My co-supervisors are Professor John Healy (SNS, Bangor University), Dr Markus Eichhorn (University College Cork, Ireland) and Professor Simon Creer (SNS, Bangor University). I am based in the Molecular Ecology & Fisheries Genetics Laboratory (MEFGL) in Environment Centre Wales.