My current research interests lie in using ecological understanding of coral reefs to maximise the efficacy of conservation efforts. In particular, in light of recent increases in active reef restoration projects, I am interested in investigating how natural reefs can inform the intelligent goal-setting and monitoring strategies essential to successful restoration. Photogrammetry (and other 3D mapping approaches) show great promise in facilitating in-depth analysis of coral communities, and so I am also interested in how the production and analysis of 3D reef maps can be developed, made more accessible and, ultimately, applied to better understanding what a ‘healthy’ reef community looks like.
My interest in animals and natural places started as a child growing up in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and escalated from there. I went on to study ‘Biological Sciences (Biodiversity and Conservation)’ at University College London (UCL), where a research studentship investigating the natural recovery of coral reefs first introduced me to conducting novel research. I then took various positions in ecology and conservation research, from collecting wasp parasitoids for New Zealand conservation authorities, to investigating territorial behaviour in reef fish with the University of Bristol, to studying overall reef health in Honduras. Throughout, exposure to both healthy and degraded reefs motivated me to turn my attention to studying reef ecology. Now, as PhD student on the OnePlanet DTP with Newcastle University, UCL and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, I am aiming to work with researchers and conservation practitioners to try to maximise the success of both ongoing and future reef restoration projects.