- 2007–2008: MSc in Wild Animal Biology, Institute of Zoology and Royal Veterinary College
- 2003–2006: BSc in Zoology, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Coral reef systems, which provide valuable habitat for shark and ray species, are facing unprecedented pressures. Marine predators play an important role in coral reef ecosystem functioning. As such, understanding how reef sharks utilise reef ecosystems, and how this alters with changing environmental conditions, is important for the conservation of both shark species and reefs themselves. Animal movement networks are a novel tool that can reveal important insights into ecological connectivity and wildlife behaviour. Given climate change is predicted to cause increased fluctuations in environmental factors, integrating environmental data into movement analysis techniques, and investigating how environmental factors can influence the movement dynamics and spatial networks of species, is important for future shark conservation and management. Increasingly powerful remotely-sensed satellite data is available to researchers. However, despite this, there is currently little integration of environmental data into wildlife movement and social networks. This PhD will integrate acoustic telemetry data on reef sharks and satellite remote sensing to explore the environmental drivers of shark movement data and investigate new methods for monitoring coral reef health to provide insights into how animal movement and social patterns are influenced by environmental change (for example, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation event during 2015-2016). This is valuable data for policy makers to aid management decisions for the conservation of highly mobile marine fauna.
David Jacoby, Institute of Zoology
Emma Tebbs, King’s College London
Terry Dawson, King’s College London
Williamson, M. J., Tebbs, E., Dawson, T., Jacoby D. (2019) ‘Satellite Remote Sensing in Shark and Ray Ecology, Conservation and Management’, Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2019.00135
Williamson, M.J., Dudgeon, C., Slade, R. Tonic immobility in the zebra shark, Stegostoma fasciatum, and its use for capture methodology. Environ Biol Fish. 2018. 101(5): 741-748 doi: 10.1007/s10641-018-0734-2.
Williamson, M.J., Kavanagh, A.S., Noad, M.J., Kniest, E, Dunlop, R.A. The effect of close approaches for tagging activities by small research vessels on the behavior of humpback whales. Mar Mamm Sci. 2016. 32(4) 1234-1253. doi: 10.1111/mms.12324.
Kavanagh, A.S., Owen, K., Williamson, M.J., Blomberg, S.P., Noad, M.J., Goldizen, A.W., Kniest, E., Cato, D. H., Dunlop, R.A. Evidence for the functions of surface-active behaviours in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Mar Mamm Sci. 2016. 33(1). 313-334. doi: 10.1111/mms.12374.