PhD Researcher and Assistant Lecturer, School of Science
Jan 2010 – Nov 2014
Thesis Title: “Stock structure, trophic dynamics and recruitment variability of blue whiting: information to support sustainable fisheries management”
My PhD has been on the population dynamics of the meso-pelagic gadoid, blue whiting. My research focused on otolith shape analysis to examine stock structure, modelling of prey interactions, age and growth of blue whiting, and developing alternative recruitment indices using ground-fish survey data. It is hoped that this research will help improve both the assessment for this economically important species, and add to the overall general scientific knowledge on widely distributed stocks.
Before pursuing a PhD, I led a project on marine primary productivity and basking shark occurrences in NW Mayo, Ireland. This involved daily transects onboard the inshore vessel ‘Dulra na Mara’ in a remote area of Ireland. The abundance and distribution of basking sharks was recorded with a range of sampling equipment to examine their relationship to the plankton community structure.
Prior to this, I worked with the Marine Institute in what was then called the Aquaculture and Catchment Management unit providing technical support to the scientific officers over a wide variety of projects at the Marine Institute, Newport. This included environmental monitoring of rivers, lakes and estuaries as well as biological sampling of fish species and routine fish husbandry towards a ranched mark and recapture program which has been in operation since the 1960s when it was owned by the Guinness family
I am a member of the ICES working group for the stock assessment of blue whiting (WGWIDE), and have collaborated with European colleagues on various papers. I have extensive field experience including offshore ship-time and commercial diving operations.