Dr Timothy Whitton
Post-Doctoral Ecologist Researcher
Room: 325 Westbury Mount Phone: 01248 383936
I am marine ecologist with a particular interest in how species’ distributions and behaviour are driven by the environment and predators, with a recent focus on how human activities may shape and change these interactions (fishing activities, manmade structures and renewable energy devices). My research has spanned intertidal and subtidal benthic systems to pelagic ecology. My research methods involve both laboratory and field experiments, but I am often using research vessels to take measurements and collect samples at sea.
My current research is with Prof Jan Hiddink investigating the potential impact of bottom fishing on benthic systems, which is often in collaboration with the fishing sector. Current work is specifically on bottom fishing effects on blue carbon. There is much uncertainty about the how towed bottom fishing may affect blue carbon sequestration across different seabed types and fishing gear. We have sought to investigate this experimentally by sampling from the RV Prince Madog areas that have been fished to different intensities by different gear types. Our work seeks to help better inform any policy that may seek to manage fishing -blue carbon interactions.
Recent research highlights
Pelagic fish and tidal energy devices
To understand how the vertical distribution of small pelagic fish may change the likelihood of interactions with marine renewable devices and top-predators, I led a study to measure sprat schools and physical processes that drive their behaviour. I used fisheries acoustics from the RV Prince Madog and a bottom moored ASL AZFP and Simrad WBAT to investigate the depths that small pelagic fish are using in high current areas and how this changes over temporal scales of hours to months. Read the findings here and here
Marine life on shipwrecks
I led a section of work to investigate how marine life colonises and uses man-made structures. Specifically shipwrecks in areas of high tidal currents. See here for information.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any enquires about my research.