OUR TEAM

We are a multidisciplinary group of researchers currently based within the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London. We strive to be an inclusive, supportive and productive working environment, focussing on the professional and personal development of our staff and students. If you are interested in joining the group or collaborating with us, please see our contact us page.

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Dr David Curnick

Head of OPL

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David has a PhD in marine ecology from University College London and is a Fellow of the Bertarelli Programme in Marine Science. His research seeks to understand the impact of anthropogenic actions on the behaviour and distribution of marine predators and assess the subsequent implications for ecosystem health and management effectiveness. He aims to conduct innovative and impactful research through a multi-disciplinary approach including the application of telemetry tagging, remote sensing, chemical tracers and fisheries analyses. He is a strong advocate of stakeholder engagement and strives to ensure that his research translates into management and policy action.

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Dr Claire Collins

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

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Claire Collins is a post-doctoral researcher based at ZSL and the University of Exeter, having recently completed her PhD on social dimensions of illegal fisheries in the Indian Ocean. Her research seeks to understand human dimensions of conservation problems, with a key focus on behavioural reactions to management and policy. Claire's research frequently combines understanding from different social science methods, with a focus on informal, participatory approaches to generate understanding. Key current research interests include understanding drivers of spatial footprint of fisheries and using a value-chain approach to understand incentives for trade in endangered species. 

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Dr Rosie Williams

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

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Rosie has a PhD from Brunel University and specialises in ecotoxicology. Her research seeks to understand the impacts of exposure to chemical pollution on marine apex predators. Rosie currently works in collaboration with the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) to assess the health of UK cetacean populations using information collected as part of post-mortem investigations on stranded animals. Rosie uses these data to assess the ecotoxicological status of cetaceans in several ways including: assessing the spatiotemporal trends of pollutant burdens; investigating relationships between burdens and indices of health (e.g., immune and reproductive system suppression) and assessing toxicity and risk in relation to other anthropogenic stressors. Rosie hopes that her work can be used to ensure remediation and mitigation policies are adequate to protect UK marine apex predators from chemical pollution.

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Nick Dunn

PhD Student

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Nick is a PhD candidate with the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP) at Imperial College London and is based as the Institute of Zoology, ZSL. He is interested in using environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor biodiversity in marine ecosystems and focuses on developing methods for the detection and monitoring of shark and ray species. Nick uses both multi-species eDNA metabarcoding and species-specific quantitative PCR approaches to investigate elasmobranch diversity in the Chagos Archipelago Marine Protected Area, Indian Ocean and is also working closely with Angel Shark Project:Wales to investigate the presence of the critically endangered Angelshark in UK waters. Nick has a particular interest in determining how the survey design and the molecular methods used can impact the detection of rare and elusive species such as sharks and is currently working on using particle tracking methods to predict the movement of eDNA particles in the ocean.  

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Jason Lynch

PhD Student

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Jason is a PhD Student on the London NERC DTP and in collaboration with University College London. Jason is contributing to the Biome Health Project where he is investigating the impact of human pressure on coral reef health across the Great Sea Reef in Fiji. In collaboration with WWF-UK, WWF-Pacific and the University of the South Pacific, Jason is quantifying fish communities, benthic habitat structure and complexity using stereo-video diver surveys and photogrammetry, respectively. These are interwoven with a governance analysis creating an interdisciplinary project that hopes to aid local management of coral reef fisheries.

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Ben Williams

PhD Student

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Ben is a PhD student with University College London, ZSL and the University of Bristol and funded by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles. His key research interests are focused on the conservation and restoration of coral reef habitats. Much of his work to date has focused on supporting these efforts through advancing the field of passive acoustic monitoring with new recording technology and machine learning. His interests have grown to understanding the response of reef assemblages and their functioning to human interventions, especially restorative measures. His current work forms parts of the Biome Health Project and Mars Global initiative, who have established the world’s largest network of active reef restoration projects with the aim to restore degraded reef habitats and their fish communities.

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Hannah Lintott

MSc Student

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Hannah is an MSc student with ZSL and the Royal Veterinary College. She has an interest in wild animal and ecosystem health, with a particular focus on the impact of anthropogenic factors. Her MSc thesis aims to characterise the predator community around Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago from stereo-video survey analysis. This will be combined with benthic habitat assessments and historical and current fishing data to assess the impact of fishing pressure on the atoll ecosystem. 

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Mélissa Duflot

MRes Student

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Mélissa is an MRes student with University College London and ZSL. She has an interest in monitoring biodiversity using molecular methods with a particular focus on marine predators. Her MRes thesis aims to determine the concentration thresholds for environmental DNA (eDNA) detection of the thornback skate. Alongside her MRes, Mélissa is the chairperson for Justice 4 Jaws, a Non-Profit Company that aims to raise awareness and share a more positive perception of sharks and rays in South Africa.

Alumni

Grace Horberry

MSc Student 
2020

The effect of seabird nutrient subsidies on the spatial ecology of reef sharks in the British Indian Ocean Territory Marine Protected Area.
University of Edinburgh

Hannah Green

MSc Student
2020

Quantifying the ecological impact of a recreational fishery around a remote tropical atoll
Imperial College London

Emma Deeks

MRes Student
2020

An analysis on the effectiveness of the BIOT MPA enforcement vessel in overlapping with endangered elasmobranch species
Imperial College London

Jonathan Greenslade

MSc Student
2019

Visual versus stereo-video based fish community assessment methods on the Great Sea Reef, Fiji
Imperial College London

Collaborative Network

Dominic Andradi-Brown

WWF-US

Jonathan Barber

Cefas

Barbara Block

Stanford University

Taylor Chapple

Oregon State University

Mariel ten Doeschate

University of Glasgow

Sebastian Hennige

University of Edinburgh

David Jacoby

University of Lancaster

Heather Koldewey

ZSL

Ronan Roche

Bangor University

Steve Simpson

University of Bristol

Brett Taylor

University of Guam

Ruth Williams

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Samantha Andrzejaczek

Stanford University

Joanna Barker

ZSL

Andrew Brownlow

University of Glasgow

Nick Davison

University of Glasgow

Francesco Ferretti

Virginia Tech

Phil Hosegood

University of Plymouth

Kate Jones

University College London

Tim Lucas

University of Leicester

Melita Samoilys

CORDIO East Africa

Brian Smith

Natural History Museum

Sam Weber

University of Exeter

Mike Williamson

Kings College London / ZSL

Andrew Baillie

Natural History Museum 

James Barnet

Cornwall Marine Pathology Team

Chris Carbone

ZSL

Rob Deaville

ZSL

Tristan Guttridge

Saving The Blue

Nigel Hussey

University of Windsor

Peter Jones

University College London

Matt Perkins

ZSL

Vincent Savolainen

Imperial College London

Simon Spiro

ZSL

Mat Westfield

Marine Environmental Monitoring

Chris Yesson

ZSL