Area of Work
I joined BioSS in 2021 as an Ecological and Environmental Statistician. My main area of work is in quantitative research into the potential effects of offshore renewable energy on seabirds and marine mammals. Prior to joining BioSS, I completed my PhD at the University of St Andrews, based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM). My PhD work investigated the effects of sound disturbance on seals, using GPS tracking data from animal-borne tags to explore seal movement and dive activity during offshore wind farm construction.
Currently I work on several short-term and long-term research projects in the Offshore Renewables Group, as well as statistical ecology research funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS). My work involves close collaboration with groups of marine scientists at different organisations, which currently includes work with UKCEH, RSPB, BTO, Marine Scotland Science, University of St Andrews, and University of Aberdeen. I am also passionate about science communication and public engagement, and have been an active STEM Ambassador since 2019.
I work at the interface of statistics and ecology, and am interested in developing research that provides robust answers to applied questions. My main research interests are in human-wildlife interactions, animal movement modelling, statistical ecology and marine biology. I am particularly interested in the effects of human disturbance on animal movement behaviour, and in using and developing statistical methods to:
- further understand animal ecology in these contexts, and
- provide useful information for future management of human activities.
- Philippa Wright, University of St Andrews: "The role of habitat and prey quality in marine mammal decision making within a developing offshore wind landscape". Co-supervised with Gordon Hastie (University of St Andrews) and Sophie Smout (University of St Andrews).