I am interested in the mechanisms underlying animal movement and distributions, in particular, the movement of flying animals. The costs of flight are modulated by the physical environment, namely the weather, the landscape and the nature of the interactions between them. I use animal-attached technology to investigate how these factors affect the costs and patterns of avian movement and combine this with models to explore the ecological consequences of movement. Animal-attached loggers can now provide us with unprecedented information about wild animal behaviour, including its flexibility and costs, and I believe these data can play a vital role in the formulation of strategies for effective species-based conservation.

Tel: +44 (0)1792 604001

Areas of Expertise

  • Movement ecology
  • Biotelemetry
  • Flight
  • Aeroecology
  • Energetics

Publications

  1. & Fine-scale flight strategies of gulls in urban airflows indicate risk and reward in city living. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371(1704), 20150394
  2. & Identification of animal movement patterns using tri-axial magnetometry. Movement Ecology 5(1)
  3. & The energy landscape predicts flight height and wind turbine collision hazard in three species of large soaring raptor. Journal of Applied Ecology
  4. & Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371(1704), 20150382
  5. et. al. A spherical-plot solution to linking acceleration metrics with animal performance, state, behaviour and lifestyle. Movement Ecology 4(1)

See more...

Teaching

  • BIO229 Tetrapod evolution

    This module follows on from the introduction of vertebrates in the Level 4 Animal Diversity, Form and Function module, providing detail on form and function in vertebrates that spend all or part of their life cycle on land. Aspects of vertebrate morphology and physiology will be considered in terms of adaptation and evolutionary contraint. Practicals will provide an introduction to the anatomy of birds and mammals by means of dissection, avian flight (specifically the factors that have lead to differences in wing shape and flight performance), and an exploration of how climate affects population level processes in amphibia. Overall, students will gain an appreciation of the diversity of vertebrate types and an insight into the fundamental importance of metabolic rate in animals.

  • BIO308 Movement ecology

    This module will examine why, how, where and when organisms move. The lectures will draw on first principles of animal movement in order to examine the costs and benefits of different movement strategies and how they apply to animals from aphids to eagles. While the module will refer to movement in a wide variety of animals, many core elements of behavioural ecology have been developed using birds as model organisms. Consequently, several key module themes are explored using birds as examples. Movement will be examined over a range of spatial and temporal scales, as recorded using some of the very latest technologies.

Supervision

  • Camouflage during pursuit (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr William Allen
  • Towards a predicitive framework for assessing physical tag detriment in birds (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
  • Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) foraging ecology. (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
  • 'Can vulture distributions be predicted according to their body size, and the environmental parameters they currently operate in?' (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • 'A new perspective on angling; smart tag monitoring of angler and fish behaviour' (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
  • A new measure of stress; a case study with humans and bears (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
  • 'Soaring behaviour in A Social Scavenger: Insights from Bio-logging' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Andrew King
  • Introduction and dispersal of aquaculture-related invasive species under climate change (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
    Other supervisor: Prof Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
  • Pathways of Introduction and Spread of Invasive Alien Species (AIS) in freshwater ecosystems. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Sofia Consuegra Del Olmo
    Other supervisor: Prof Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
  • 'Understanding baboon behavioural ecology in a human altered landscape' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Andrew King
  • Life in the slow lane: The sloth niche, divine or dangerous; a case study in Costa Rica. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • 'AUKWARD LANDINGS: How do flight characteristics and wind conditions affect nest site selection of auks?' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Rory Wilson

Research Groups

  • Swansea Lab for Animal Movement

    We research animal movement in its broadest sense, using individual-based approaches to examine the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movements and ultimately, distributions. We specialise in obtaining data using novel technologies which allow us to access information from particularly intractable species.