Staff, Students, and Associates

Dr Katherine Whyte
Ecological and Environmental Statistician


Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
JCMB, The King's Buildings,
Peter Guthrie Tait Road,
EDINBURGH, EH9 3FD, Scotland, UK

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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, and in developing methods and analysis tools for these studies. Prior to joining BioSS, I completed my PhD at the University of St Andrews on interactions between seals and offshore wind farms, based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM).

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 scientists at different organisations, including UKCEH, RSPB, BTO, Scottish Government's Marine Directorate, University of St Andrews, University of Aberdeen, and others. I hold an Honorary Research Fellow position at the University of St Andrews, and have been an active STEM Ambassador since 2019.

Research Interests

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:

  1. further understand animal ecology in these contexts, and
  2. provide useful information for future management of human activities.

PhD Students

  • 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).