Tom Letessier's scientific interests primarily concern improving wildlife conservation and ecosystem-based management through applied and fundamental research in marine biology.
His research is primarily designed to stem global biodiversity loss, by understanding how marine ecosystems respond to human pressures and conservation intervention. Using empirical approaches at the intersection of the ecological sciences, technologies, and the humanities, he aims to better understand environmental and anthropogenic pressures on wildlife and the ecosystem processes that they sustain, in order to better identify and manage human activities.
Tom is fascinated by the elegance of the scientific method, and how its universality cut across cultures, ideologies, and religions.
How does your work contribute to finding a solution to conservation challenges?
Tom is particularly interested in the ecological roles of megafauna such as marine mammals, sharks, and seabirds, and he is currently involved in several projects aimed at better understanding their distribution and status. Using the Chagos Archipelago as a model ecosystem inside a fully protected marine reserve, Tom is interested in developing surveillance and enforcement tools to curb illegal activities such as wildlife crime and illegal fisheries, using drones and remote sensing. In addition, he uses a range of marine survey methods, such as baited cameras, echo sounders, and visual surveys to better understand the vulnerabilities and ecological roles of marine wildlife in coral reefs and the open ocean.
Please feel free to contact Tom by email if you are interested in his work and would like to discuss a topic further.
2022 - Present: Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
2016 - 2019: Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
2014 - 2016: Conservation Programme, Zoological Society of London, Consortium Coordinator
2011 - 2014: Postdoc, University of Western Australia
2007 - 2011: PhD thesis, University of St Andrews