Position: PhD Research Student
I have been involved in the field of environmental radioecology for two years, with specific focus on the effects of radionuclides in the environment on wild passerine bird species. I have a background and passion for falconry which has led me into a field of research involving environmental pollution and bird species. My work is investigating the potential of measuring the stress hormone corticosterone from feather samples as a non-invasive bioindicator of radiation exposure in the field, alongside other measures such as global DNA damage and methylation. My research is funded by a NERC doctoral training program called IAPETUS, and I work jointly with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Lancaster, the University of Stirling, and the IRSN in France. I have just completed my first field work collecting samples from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in May 2017, utilising nest boxes as a breeding attractant for two common species of bird, the great tit (Parus major) and pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca), and am currently planning a laboratory study involving zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to compare results of radiation exposure found in the field to those of the laboratory.
Animal Biology (1st class B.Sc.); University of Stirling (2010-2014)
PhD: CEH and University of Stirling (2015-present)