- 2019–Present: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
- 2018–2019: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen, UK
- 2017–2018: Research Ecologist, British Trust for Ornithology
- 2016–2017: Data Technician, Scottish Chough Study Group, University of Aberdeen, UK
- 2012–2016: PhD, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen
- 2009–2010: MRes in Ecology, Bangor University, UK
- 2006–2009: BSc in Biology, Cardiff University, UK
ResearchGate: Amanda Trask
My research interests include conservation biology and population ecology and genetics. I have also become increasingly interested in conservation translocations, sparked by my research on the Guam kingfisher and the Scottish red-billed chough population. I am keen to ensure that my work continues to involve the translation of scientific findings into applied nature conservation action.
Guam kingfisher conservation translocation planning (with Dr John Ewen, Dr Axel Moehrenschlager, Dr Stefano Canessa and Guam DAWR, USFWS and AZA)
The Guam kingfisher (Chamorro name: Sihek, Todiramphus cinnamominus) has been extinct in the wild for ~30 years and currently only exists in captivity. I am part of an international, multi-disciplinary team working to reintroduce Guam kingfishers back into the wild. I will follow a Structured Decision Making process, including multi-stakeholder engagement through workshops and evaluating different translocation scenarios through population modelling, to develop a conservation translocation plan.
Conservation of red-billed choughs in Scotland (with Prof. Jane Reid, University of Aberdeen, and the Scottish Chough Study Group)
Red-billed choughs (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) are a species of high conservation concern in Scotland due to population decline and range contraction, and currently now only exist on the islands of Islay and Colonsay. This population decline has been found to be primarily due to low sub-adult survival, linked to low food availability. However, my PhD research showed that the population is also likely to be facing genetic threats from high levels of inbreeding, leading to inbreeding depression. This work led to my postdoctoral research project, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, using population viability analysis to weigh up different ecological (supplementary feeding) and genetic (translocations of choughs from other populations) management strategies, to inform future conservation policy for Scottish choughs.
Trask, A.E., Bignal, E.M., McCracken, D.I., Monaghan, P., Piertney, S.B. & Reid, J.M. (2016) Evidence of the phenotypic expression of a lethal recessive allele under inbreeding in a wild population of conservation concern. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85 (4) 879–891. 'In Focus' paper for the journal issue and highly commended in the BES Elton Prize.
Trask, A.E., Bignal, E.M., McCracken, D.I., Piertney, S.B. & Reid, J.M. (2017) Estimating demographic contributions to effective population size in an age-structured wild population experiencing environmental and demographic stochasticity. Journal of Animal Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12703.
Recent Blog posts
“Promoting and facilitating avian conservation”, for British Ornithologists’ Union’s “From IOC2018” blog series.
"Bridging the science-policy gap, one conference at a time", for Scottish Natural Heritage’s ‘Scotland’s Nature’ blog.
“Why the chough needs a champion”, for Scottish Natural Heritage’s ‘Scotland’s Nature’ blog.