Your Committee

The current UKIRSC committee members are:


Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews 

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @PhilippaWrigh16

 

I’m a PhD student based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), University of St Andrews. My PhD aims to investigate the effects of offshore wind farms on seal prey quality and seal diving behaviour, movements, energetics, and spatial distributions. My work falls within the scope of the Predators and Prey Around Renewable Energy Developments (PrePARED) project in collaboration with SMRU Consulting, BioSS, University of Aberdeen, University of Exeter, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and Marine Scotland Science.

I am looking forward to being a part of the committee this year and meeting you all in January.


Sophie Smith

University of Highland and Islands (Shetland)

Email[email protected] | Twitter: @sophieafsmith96

 

Hi, I am a SUPERDTP PhD student based at UHI Shetland, working in collaboration with Scottish Association for Marine Science, Heriot-Watt University, and Marine Scotland. It has been historically documented that Shetland is an important geographic location towards high numbers of harbour porpoise individuals, yet relatively little is known about harbour porpoises in this area. Therefore, my research aims to understand their occurrence, behaviour and habitat use utilising land-, drone- and acoustic-based surveys.

This is my first year being involved in the UKIRSC committee which I am excited to be a part of and learning more about the research that is being conducted by fellow scientists in the marine mammal field!


Laia Garrobé

Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews 

Email[email protected] | Twitter: @_garrobe

 

Hi, I’m a SUPER DTP PhD student working in collaboration between the biology department at the University of St Andrews and the electrical engineering department at the University of Strathclyde. My work lies in the intersection of deep learning and underwater bioacoustics, looking at all the ways these new algorithms can be used to aid in the processing of large acoustic datasets. While I plan to work on data from across the cetacean taxa, I am currently focusing on the loud and chatty sperm whales.

I had a great time attending the UKIRSC student conference in the past years, and I am excited to be coming back now as a member of the committee. See you all in January!


Jasmine Stavenow

University College Cork

Email: [email protected] | Twitter@Jas_Stw

 

I’m a PhD researcher at University College Cork and MaREI in Ireland, where I study distribution, abundance, and behavior of several cetacean species in relation to offshore wind farm sites, using primarily acoustics analysis. I’m from Sweden, and previous to my current position, I worked at the National Veterinary Institute in Sweden on the stranding network and necropsies of various marine mammals. My primary study areas include marine mammal ecology in relation to anthropogenic impacts. The development and adoption of new technologies, as a way to push research methodologies further, are also topics that inspire me.

I’m a strong believer in collaboration, especially across disciplines, as I think a variety of perspectives are necessary to find sustainable answers to the issues we face as a society. On my spare time I enjoy everything ocean and nature, especially sailing, and to spend time with my senior dog. Additionally, I enjoy painting with water colours and crafts in general.

I’m excited to join the UKIRSC committee as a new member, to plan the next conference, get to know many of the members, and learn as much as possible I from the current research that is paving the way.


Alexandra Tranganida

University of Aberdeen

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @tranganida

 

I am a PhD student based at the University of Aberdeen, studying blubber physiology using molecular techniques. My work involves analysing blubber samples collected from stranded marine mammals by the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme and the University of Iceland, and trying to identify molecular markers that can indicate the stress or health condition of animals.

I am excited to be part of the UKIRSC committee and very much looking forward to meeting this year’s community and hearing all about your exciting projects!

 


Eva-Maria Bønnelycke

Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews 

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @Eva_MariaB

 

Hi, I am a SUPER DTP PhD student based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews. My work aims to quantify the physiological health consequences of homeostatic disturbance and how they interact with foraging behaviour and energetics in grey seals as a model marine mammal species. My interests lie in the development and application of innovative technological approaches to further our understanding of physiological processes in marine mammal species.

This is my first year on the UKIRSC committee and I look forward to meeting everyone that is a part of this community at the next conference!


Joshua Wilson

 University of Southampton / British Antarctic Survey

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @oshuwilson

I’m a PhD student at the University of Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey. I work with tracking data from several Southern Ocean species, including seals, whales, penguins, and albatross. My main goals are to understand how oceanographic features like fronts and eddies influence predator distribution, and to develop models that can predict real-time distributions for spatial management. Hopefully this will help us to protect ecosystems as the environment changes!
After attending the UKIRSC conference in my first year of study, I’m excited to help run conferences and build the amazing network of marine mammal researchers here in the UK!

Rosie Day

Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews 

Email: [email protected]

 

I am a SUPERDTP PhD student at the University of St Andrews studying delphinid whistles repertoires and how they vary geographically and between species. This research helps to have a greater understanding of delphinid communication as a whole and informs the development and use of acoustic classifiers


                                 Claire Stainfield 

                                 Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) | Aberdeen Campus

Email: [email protected]

I am a first-year PhD student at SRUC based at their Aberdeen campus. My research combines ecology and social science to evaluate seal tourism. I will combine drone survey techniques to expand knowledge of local seal population dynamics and determine spatial patterns within haul-out locations while harvesting big-data from activity trackers and social media to understand visitor activities and thoughts. The objective is to assess the seal tourism in the region and determine its potential for sustainable development alongside the seal colony.

I am excited to be part of the UKIRSC committee and very much looking forward to meeting this year’s community and hearing all about your exciting projects!