I am a research ecologist who specialises in population and statistical ecology. My undergraduate degree was carried out at Queen’s University Belfast where I obtained a first class honours in BSci Environmental Biology. My undergraduate final year project wasn’t directly associated with my current specialisations but involved investigating the impact of pesticide use on the diversity and abundance of invertebrates in commercial orchards.
After this I took a year out when I volunteered at Murlough NNR in Northern Ireland. Here I led the UKBMS (butterfly) surveys, which I performed every week across the survey season, whenever possible. For my PhD project I will now be working the dataset from this survey to help improve conservation delivery for UK butterflies.
Following this volunteer position, I then completed an MRes in Environment and Ecology at the University of Sheffield. My project here investigated the effect of temperature on the body-size dynamics of the Tiger Flathead fish species (Neoplatycephalus richardsoni). For this project I developed a series of Bayesian hierarchical piecewise linear regression models to describe the growth of species. An integral projection model was then developed to determine the effects of temperature on growth.