Maisie Evans

Maisie Evans


During my BSc in Wildlife Conservation at Nottingham Trent University, my interest in marine ecology grew. I researched marine mammal distributions in relation to sea surface temperature as a proxy for climate change for my dissertation before moving to the University of East Anglia where I studied MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation. Whilst studying, I developed an interest in fisheries bycatch and, having been put in contact with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), my MSc thesis investigated shark interactions with fisheries around the UK. This has formed the basis of my PhD work in marine ecology where I will combine shark bycatch to my earlier studies in climate change.

Post-graduation from my MSc, I taught fieldwork skills to school groups (Year 1 – Year 12) in geography and biology with the Field Studies Council which developed my confidence and presentation skills. I then went on to work for Operation Wallacea, where I worked in their finance and internal travel departments before going to Honduras for 2 months delivering their conservation programme as volunteer coordinator and (when needed) camp manager and lecturer. This honed my organisation, problem-solving, and managerial skills as well as my flexibility and kept up my verbal communication skills for conveying scientific information to both school groups (16-19) and university students. All these skills will be carried with me throughout my PhD.

Maisie Evans

PhD title: Interactions between CMS-listed migratory sharks and commercial fisheries.

As apex predators, sharks are vital to marine ecosystem functioning. This work focuses on shark species listed under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) occurring in UK seas and British Overseas Territories (OT’s).

This project aims to (a) assess and quantify the interactions between CMS-listed shark species with commercial fisheries around the British Isles; (b) Develop alternative procedures to estimate dead stock removal to (i) assess population level impacts and (ii) identify those fisheries métiers where high levels of interactions occur; (c) Model how predicted climate change scenarios may affect the distributions of those CMS-listed sharks occurring in the north-east Atlantic to predict future interactions with UK fleets; and (d) Undertake Ecological Risk Assessments for CMS-listed shark species in relation to those commercial fisheries operating around British OT’s.

I will use observer data analysed in R, creating distribution maps for both the sharks and UK fisheries and statistical analysis for dead stock removal estimates. Species distribution modelling will be carried out to predict climate change implications whilst an ecological risk assessment will be carried out for species occurring around British OT’s. All results will be discussed in relation to management implications.

This work is in partnership with Cefas and funded by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI).


Other information

Attending Norwich Science Festival Food and Farming Day, February 12th, 2023