Patrick Keith

Patrick Keith


I graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 2019 with a first-class degree in Marine Biology. During my time there I developed an interest in how environmental changes affect the interactions between predators and their prey, and conducted my Undergraduate thesis investigating how environmental and anthropogenic changes impact the breeding success of three marine bird species.

I have since been studying for a Master’s degree in Marine Ecosystem Management at the University of St Andrews, where I developed a particular interest in Southern Ocean ecosystems. My MSc thesis investigates how climate change may impact the availability of suitable core habitat for Weddell seals within the Weddell Sea, and the implications for a proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the region.

Patrick Keith

Ecology and Biodiversity

University of Essex, School of Life Sciences

PhD title: The changing nature of Antarctic food webs

Marine ecosystems around Antarctica are characterised by high numbers of penguins, seals, whales, and their common prey, krill. These ecosystems are poorly understood compared to every other ocean, but are experiencing some of the most dramatic effects of climate change on earth.

This project at the University of Essex, and in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey, will make use of dietary data from various seal, seabird and fish species to investigate how environmental changes over the past three decades have impacted the diets of these predators. The project also aims to identify the properties of Southern Ocean food webs that affect their stability, through network-based analyses and modelling.

The results of this project will provide a greater understanding of how ecosystems within the Southern Ocean are likely to respond to climate change, with implications for their conservation and management.


  • A 2019 Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS) Grant NHMSG17 (£495) to conduct a small project entitled: “Using the S2P3 1D physical-biological oceanographic model to investigate the influence of moon phase on phytoplankton bloom dynamics”


  • British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) 2019, University of South Wales.


Gordon H Rae Memorial prize for outstanding performance in Marine Biology (University of Aberdeen)