2013-Present: PhD Candidate - Institute of Zoology, ZSL and University College London.
2013-Present: Member and Interim IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group Secretariat.
2013-Present: Committee Member, Reef Conservation UK.
2009-2013: Marine and Freshwater Programme Coordinator, Conservation Programmes, ZSL.
2009: General Marine Scientist, Operation Wallacea, Indonesia.
2008-2009: MSc. Marine Biology (with Distinction), Coral Reef Research Unit, University of Essex.
2005-2008: BSc. Marine and Freshwater Biology (Hons), University of Essex.
Primary Research Interests:
In a world of over 7 billion people, it is becoming ever more important to manage our natural resources efficiently. Unfortunately, many global fisheries are classified as overexploited or depleted, and there are grave concerns over their long-term sustainability. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have become an increasingly prominent management tool within coastal ecosystems and are included in several international conventions. Recently, a number of large MPAs have been established, including large pelagic areas, but they have faced strong opposition from members of the fishing industry. They argue that there is little evidence that large MPAs can protect highly migratory species (such as tuna) as the fish will simply move out of any protected area: MPA creation may therefore simply displace fishing effort. To date MPA efficacy is derived from relatively small-scale studies on coastal sites and it is unclear if the results of these studies apply to larger-scale pelagic systems.
My research focuses on using novel methods and modern technology to understand how effective large MPAs are in protecting populations of migratory pelagic fish species. I will be using the Chagos MPA in the Indian Ocean as my case study. Specifically I am investigating the spatial, temporal and demographic distributions of pelagic fish populations, habitat utilisation and site fidelity of the focal species. Without answers to these critical questions the management efficacy of these fish stocks will remain limited and the provision of food for the global community jeopardised.
Other Research Interests:
I have worked, and continue to work, on a number of other projects broadly based around conservation and marine ecology. Most notable is my research on mangroves, coral reefs, the European eel and the pygmy three-toed sloth.
In addition, I am also a keen wildlife photographer and am currently investigating how we can maximize the use of photography to understand the natural world and apply this technology to new areas of science.
Curnick, D.J. & Turner, C.S. (2012) Searching for the pygmy sloth – no small task. British Ecological Society Bulletin. August.
Gollock, M., Curnick, D.J., and Debney, A. (2011) Recent recruitment of juvenile eel populations in the tributaries of the River Thames. Hydrobiolgia 672: 33–37.
Naumann, E., Curnick, D.J., Suggett, D.J., Smith D.J. (2011) Mangroves reveal more robust coral species. Biodiversity Science.
Koldewey, H., Curnick, D.J., Harding, S., Harrison, L., Gollock, M. (2010) Potential benefits to fisheries and biodiversity of the Chagos Archipelago/British Indian Ocean Territory as a no-take marine reserve. Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 1906–1916.
Curnick, D.J., Amin, R., Dyer, E.E., Riquelme, L., Voirin, B., and Turner, C.S. (submitted) A comprehensive population and habitat assessment of Bradypus pygmaeus within the mangrove forests of Escudo de Veraguas Island, Panama. Oryx.
Thompson, B.S., Clubbe, C., Koldewey, H.J.K., Curnick, D.J., Primavera, J.H. (submitted) Challenging the Economic Viability of Blue Carbon: a case study from Panay Island, the Philippines. Ecological Economics.
Dr Ben Collen, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
Professor Kate E. Jones, University College London / Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
Dr Heather Koldewey, Conservation Programmes, ZSL.
Dr Kirsty Kemp, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.