Rose Nicholson

Rose Nicholson


Rose has a BSc in biochemistry and a MSc in equine science from the University of Edinburgh. She also has 10 years’ experience working within interdisciplinary teams on scientific research and monitoring projects for the UK government department for environment food and rural affairs (Defra). After graduating, she worked on animal disease surveillance and research programmes in the Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis the Veterinary Laboratories Agency from 2009 to 2013, before joining the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), where she is currently employed as a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) analyst.

Rose has used GIS in a wide range of contexts, including characterising of the spread of endemic bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales, monitoring shoreline and beach topography change on the Suffolk coast, and near real-time self-reporting of catch information by fishers. Her current research interests are centred around practical applications of GIS and spatial ecology in the context of the marine environment. She is particularly interested in links between environmental conditions and species distribution, and marine ecological forecasting. Rose is undertaking a part-time PhD with the University of East Anglia focussed on forecasting the catchability of highly mobile marine species.

Rose Nicholson

Agri-environments and Water

University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences

PhD title: Forecasting spatial distribution of highly mobile marine species to reduce bycatch in UK fisheries

Bycatch, the unintended capture of non-targeted organisms by fishing vessels targeting other species, has impacts on marine ecosystems and protected, threatened and endangered species, as well as economic costs to commercial fisheries.

This research will seek to predict, the distribution and catchability, in space and time, of highly mobile marine species that are vulnerable to bycatch, such as spurdog (Squalus acanthias), a small shark species, and common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). This will require a combination of biological data, such as catch information self-reported by fishers, and environmental data, such as ocean physics and biochemistry model outputs available through the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service. These data will be used to develop models using GIS and statistical approaches, automated through Python or R scripting.

A further aim will be to assess the potential of the predictive models for use in dynamic fisheries management, where spatial boundaries and management recommendations are frequently updated on fine spatial and temporal scales, accounting for stakeholder perceptions and the socioeconomic implications of potential management measures.


    Lonsdale, J., Nicholson, R., Weston, K., Elliott, M., Birchenough, A., Sühring, R. (2018). A user’s guide to coping with estuarine management bureaucracy: An Estuarine Planning Support System (EPSS) tool. Marine Pollution Bulletin 127:463-477.

    Broughan J.M., Maye D., Carmody P., Brunton L.A., Ashton A., Wint W., Alexander N., Naylor R., Ward K., Goodchild A.V., Hinchliffe S., Eglin R.D., Upton P., Nicholson R., Enticott G. (2016). Farm characteristics and farmer perceptions associated with bovine tuberculosis incidents in areas of emerging endemic spread. Preventative Veterinary Medicine 129:88-98.

    Brunton L.A., Nicholson, R., Ashton A., Alexander, N., Wint, W., Enticott, G., Ward, K., Broughan, J.M., Goodchild, A.V. (2015). A novel approach to mapping and calculating the rate of spread of endemic bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales, Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology 13:41-50.

    Enticott, G., Maye, D., Carmody, P., Naylor, R., Ward, K., Hinchliffe, S., Wint, W., Alexander, N., Elgin, R., Ashton, A., Upton, P., Nicholson, R., Goodchild, T., Brunton, L., Broughan, J. (2015). Farming on the edge: farmer attitudes to bovine tuberculosis in newly endemic areas. Veterinary Record 177(17):439.

    Twomey D.F., Wu G., Nicholson R., Watson E.N., Foster A.P. (2014). Review of laboratory submissions from New World camelids in England and Wales (2000-2011). Veterinary Journal 200(1):51-59.

    Ely E.R., Nicholson R.E., Snow L.C., Strugnell B.W., Williamson S.M., Milnes A.S., Watson E.N., Hoinville L.J. (2012). Evaluation of methods for measuring coverage and representativeness of an early-warning disease surveillance system. Veterinary Record 171(17):423.


  • July 2019: Spatial Statistics 2019: Towards Spatial Data Science (5th Spatial Statistics conference, Sitges, Spain) Poster presented: Bycatch risk mapping of endangered North-east Atlantic picked dogfish (Squalus acanthias L.) in near-real time
  • GEOVET 2013: Geospatial analysis in veterinary epidemiology and preventive medicine (Royal Veterinary College, London) Poster presented: Approaches for mapping the spread of endemic bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain