I gained my MSc in Marine Environmental Protection at Bangor University in 2008 with a research project on the population genetics of the Caribbean spiny lobster in the western Antilles. I completed my PhD in 2012 which focused on the connectivity and spatial structure of the scallop fishery around the Isle of Man, funded by the Isle of Man Government. The project involved surveys on the research vessel Prince Madog as well as collaboration with stakeholders including fishermen and processors. Work included population genetics of scallops around the Isle of Man and across the wider European range, statistical modelling of environmental and anthropogenic drivers of spatial variation in scallop reproductive status and modelling of the impact of hatchery reared scallop seed on wild populations.
Post-doctoral research at Bangor University (2012-2015 and 2019- present) has focused on inshore, data poor, shellfish fisheries across Wales, requiring active engagement with the fishing industry for collaborative data collection. All research aims are closely aligned with fisheries management and policy evidence requirements in order to deliver meaningful research to impact sustainable fisheries management. A key framework for our sustainable fisheries research is to provide evidence for the management of key commercial fisheries within the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM), ensuring that single species approaches (such as stock assessment and single species reference points) are complemented with wider ecosystem evidence such as appropriate spatial scales, adjacent effects and long term effects.
I have also spent three years working as a fisheries scientist for a consultancy (2016-2019) where I worked on a range of projects including environmental baseline studies for energy developments, intertidal aquaculture developments and coastal realignment schemes. I have worked in collaboration with fishers and statutory conservation agencies to develop fisheries management plans for several order fisheries and to carry out annual stock status surveys on the fishery. I have also modelled the effect of river flow on salmonid up-stream migration including drought scenarios.
I am currently the project manager for the EMFF sustainable fisheries in Wales project. As well as project management I am the lead researcher for the component of the project using our long-standing relationships with the industry to develop innovative technology for maximising high quality, high resolution fishery-dependant data collection. In addition my current research is investigating the reproductive ecology of lobsters and how this can influence stock assessment and fishery management measures.
EFF funded "Sustainable use of fisheries resources in Welsh waters" - lead role in application for £300K for an 18 month extension to the project. (2013-2015)
EMFF funded "Fisher-Scientist collaboration" - during an NRN grant writing fellowhsip I developed the grant proposal capturing £1.2m in funding for this 4 year project. (2019-2022)
EMFF funded "Video and electronic fisheries data collection" - during and NRN grant writing fellowship I wrote the grant proposala capturing £140K in funding for the 2 year project. (2019-2021)
EMFF funded "Bass and Ray ecology in Liverpool Bay". This project extends the Welsh bass and ray science across the political boundary into north west English waters. £86K (2019-2020).
Welsh Government Marine Evidence Framework Agreement "Standardised stock assessment survey for whelk fisheries". £11,000 (2020)
I am a member of the UK whelk management group and Crab and Lobster management group, providing scientific input alongisde scientists from CEFAS and Scotland. The group is a multi-stakholder group with representivies from industry, DEFRA, Welsh Government, Seafish and academia.