Michael Bevins Cameron

Michael Bevins Cameron


Following almost a decade working in finance I made a big career change and enrolled on a degree in Life Sciences. I graduated from the University of Essex four years later with a first-class BSc in Marine Biology. During my degree I gained valuable experience working in a laboratory via a work placement as a research assistant, performing fish dissections, tissue isotope chemistry and data analysis. I became increasingly interested in fish ecology and behaviour, and continued this work into my final year project. For my honours thesis, I focused on Atlantic salmon movements and provenance assignments, analysing otolith (earstone) elemental concentrations using laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry. I worked on multiple populations around the British Isles to track their lifetime movement patterns, size at emigration, and trace their natal origins.

I look forward to now continuing this research at the University of Essex within the Ecology and Environmental Microbiology Group and alongside industry partners Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd.


Michael Bevins Cameron

Title: "Developing novel chemical tools to assign salmon origin and assess potential impacts of Scottish offshore windfarms along migratory corridors"

Atlantic salmon is an important species ecologically, economically, and culturally, yet they are in widespread decline, with Scottish populations decreasing by around 40% over the past 40 years. Shifts in food webs, warming, predation, phenological prey mismatch, and contaminants are all stressors, while renewable energy developments are also transforming areas that salmon migrate through. Tagging and trawling studies suggest planned developments intercept primary migratory pathways of emigrating juveniles and returning adults, which may affect homing ability and survival.

To assess if particular populations are at greater risk of impact and if adult straying rates change following construction, new tools to accurately identify river-of-origin of individuals caught at planned or existing development sites and post-spawned adults sampled in rivers are required to aid development of effective management plans.

This project will use otolith elemental concentrations and eye lens stable isotope ratios to develop a novel multi-marker approach for assigning salmon to their river or catchment of origin, while also testing if non-lethal sampling can be used to assign post-smolts with similar accuracy.