I am a NERC DTP PhD student at the University of Leeds studying the behaviour of Northern gannets during the breeding season. Prior to starting my PhD I worked for the RSPB monitoring and protecting breeding hen harriers on upland estates so the world of seabirds is a new and exciting realm for me!
The aim of my research is to increase our understanding of gannet behaviour when they are out at sea on foraging trips. Aside from the fact that I get to work so closely with these beautiful seabirds, there are two aspects of my work which are particularly exciting. The first is that I am looking at their flight in 3D, so not just where they are going but how high they are flying throughout the duration of their trips. The second is that I am going to be looking at the behaviour of immature birds who have not yet started breeding, which has not been done before.
Over the course of my PhD I am going to be blogging here about the work I and other researchers are doing, hopefully bringing you some interesting facts, photos and anecdotes about working up close and personal with the UK’s largest seabird, the northern gannet. I hope you find it interesting!