Dr. David Curnick
Postdoctoral Research Associate
- 2019-Present: Bertarelli Programme in Marine Science Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL, UK.
- 2013-Present: Member, IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group Secretariat.
- 2013-Present: Committee Member, Reef Conservation UK, UK.
- 2013-Present: Visiting Lecturer, Royal Veterinary College, UK.
- 2016-2019: Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
- 2013-2016: PhD Candidate, University College London, UK.
- 2009-2013: Marine and Freshwater Programme Coordinator, Conservation Programmes, ZSL, UK.
- 2009-2009: General Marine Scientist, Operation Wallacea, Indonesia.
- 2008-2009: MSc. Marine Biology (with Distinction), Coral Reef Research Unit, University of Essex, UK.
- 2005-2008: BSc. Marine and Freshwater Biology (Hons), University of Essex, UK.
Primary Research Interests:
My research seeks to understand the spatial and temporal behaviour patterns of marine predators, and how they interact with fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs). Many marine predators are under increasing global threat from both legal and illegal exploitation. Therefore, understanding the efficacy of conservation measures, such as MPAs or catch restrictions, is crucial to improve the management of these important species.
A focus of my current work is based around the Chagos Archipelago and the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) MPA that surrounds it through the Marine.Science research programme. Through a multi-disciplinary approach of telemetry tagging, remote sensing and historic fisheries analyses, I am assessing the extent to which the MPA affords protection to commercially important pelagic predators (sharks and tunas) in the Indian Ocean, and whether it contains important sites for key life-stages such as breeding. I am also investigating the impacts of the ongoing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and drifting fishing gears, such as fish aggregation devices (dFADs). See Marine.Science for more information on my research in the Chagos Archipelago.
I am also the marine lead for the Biome Health Project, investigating the impact of fishing pressure on coral reef health in Fiji. To measure reef health, we use an array of reef survey techniques (e.g. structure from motion photogrammetry, high resolution stereo video transects) and novel acoustic sensors (which can also measure anthropogenic activity) to generate key metrics. For more information on our work in Fiji, please see refer to the Biome Health Project website
I also continue to work on a number of other projects broadly based around conservation and marine ecology. These include focusses on mangroves and the Critically Endangered European eel.
Current PhD Students:
Rosie Williams (Brunel University) - Persistent Organic Pollutants: assessing the threat to cetaceans
Nicholas Dunn (Imperial College London) - Developing environmental DNA methods to assess the distribution of cryptic sharks and rays
Jason Lynch (University College London) - A socio-ecological approach to understanding the footprint on tropical coral reef biodiversity
Hays, G., Koldewey, H., Curnick, DJ. et al. (2020) A review of a decade of lessons from one of the world’s largest MPAs: conservation gains and key challenges. Marine Biology. 167: 59.
Koldewey, H., Christie, S., Curnick, DJ., Hoffmann, M., Masters, N., Pearce-Kelly, P., Roden, L., Tapley, B. & Terry, A., 2020. A response to Welden et al. (2020) The contributions of EAZA zoos and aquaria to peer-reviewed scientific research. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 8(2): 133-138. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research. 8(3): 121-121.
Andradi-Brown, D., Banaszak, AT., Frazer, TK., Gilchrist, H., Harborne, AR., Head, CEI., Koldewey, HJ., Levy, E., Richards, K., Short, R., Sweet, M., Teleki, K., Voolstra, CR., Wilson, B., Wood, E., Yarlett, RT. & Curnick, DJ. Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene: reflecting on 20 years of Reef Conservation UK. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7: 364. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00364
Curnick, DJ., Collen, B., Koldewey, HJ., Jones, KE., Kemp, K. & Ferretti, F. 2020. Interactions between a large marine protected area, pelagic tuna and associated fisheries. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7: 318. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00318
Jacoby, D., Ferretti, F., Carlisle, A., Dale, JJ., Chapple, T., Curnick, DJ., Schallert, R., Tickler, D. & Block, BA. 2020. Shark movement strategies influence poaching risk and can guide enforcement decisions in a large, remote Marine Protected Area. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57(9): 1782-1792.
Dunn, N., Johri, S., Curnick, DJ., Carbone, C., Dinsdale, E., Block, BA. & Savolainen, V. 2020. Complete mitochondrial genome of the grey reef shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B: Resources. 5(3): 2080-2082.
Johri, S., Dunn, N., Savolainen, V., Curnick, DJ., Dinsdale, E. & Block, BA. 2020. Mitochondrial genome of the Silvertip Shark, Carcharhinus albimarginatus, from the British Indian Ocean Territory. Mitochondrial DNA Part B: Resources. 5(3): 2085-2086.
Andrzejaczek, S., Chapple, TK., Curnick, DJ., Carlisle, AB., Castleton, M., Jacoby, DM., Peel, LR., Schallert, RJ., Tickler, DM. & Block, BA. 2020. Individual variation in residency and regional movements of reef manta rays Mobula alfredi in a large Marine Protected Area. Marine Ecology: Progress Series. 639: 137-153.
Williams, RS., ten Doeschate, M., Curnick, DJ., Brownlow, A., Barber, J., Davison, N., Deaville, R., Perkins, M., Jepson, P. & Jobling, S. 2020. Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls are still associated with toxic effects in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) despite having fallen below proposed toxicity thresholds. Environmental Science & Technology. 54(4): 2277-2286.
Williams, RS., Curnick, DJ., Barber, J., Brownlow, A., Davison, N., Deaville, R., Perkins, M., Jobling, S. and Jepson, P., 2019. Juvenile harbor porpoises in the UK are exposed to a more neurotoxic mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls than adults. Science of the Total Environment. 708: 134835.
Dunn, N. & Curnick, DJ. Assessing the potential of historical fisheries data for the management of marine protected areas. 2019. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29(12): 2057-2070.
Carlisle, AB., Tickler, D., Dale, JJ., Ferretti, F., Curnick, DJ., Chapple, TK., Schallert, RJ., Castleton, M. & Block, BA. Estimating space use of mobile fishes in a large marine protected area with methodological considerations in acoustic array design. 2019. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(26) doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00256
Curnick, DJ., Pettorelli, N., Amir, AA., Balke, T., Barbier, EB., Crooks, S., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Duncan, C., Endsor, C., Friess, DA., Quarto, A., Zimmer, M. and Lee, SY. 2019. The value of small mangrove patches. Science (New York, NY), 363(6424): 239.
Curnick, DJ., Gollock, M., Schallert, R. & Hussey, N. 2019. Evidence of dynamic resource partitioning between two sympatric reef shark species. Journal of Fish Biology. 94(4): 680-685 doi: 10.1111/jfb.13938.
Tickler, DM., Carlisle, AB., Chapple, TK., Curnick, DJ., Dale, JJ., Schallert, RJ. & Block, BA. 2019. Potential detection of illegal fishing by passive acoustic telemetry. Animal Biotelemetry, 7(1), p.1.
Ferretti, F., Curnick, D., Romanov, E. & Block, BA. 2018. Shark baselines and the conservation role of remote coral reef ecosystems. Science Advances, 4(3), p.eaaq0333.
Davies, T., Curnick, DJ., Barde, J. & Chassot, E. 2017. Potential environmental impacts caused by beaching of drifting fish aggregating devices and identification of management solutions and uncertainties. A technical report to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.
For my full publication record – see my Google Scholar page