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Department of Zoology



I completed a BSc in Botany and Zoology at Rhodes University in South Africa (2010-2012) followed by a PGCE (2013), after which I spent several years teaching Science at an international school in Vietnam.

I returned to study an MSc in Biology, specialising in Aquatic Ecology, at Lund University in Sweden in 2017, during which time I also spent an exchange term at the University College in Svalbard (UNIS) studying a field course in Arctic Winter Limnology.

In 2018, I was awarded an Erasmus Traineeship Grant to complete my thesis research project at the University of Exeter, co-supervised by Dr Anders Persson (Lund University) and Prof. Steve Simpson (University of Exeter), focusing on the role of sound in juvenile fish recruitment and survival. My project investigated the the relationship between ambient soundscapes in the French Mediterranean and the recruitment of juvenile White Seabream (Diplodus sargus), as well as looking at the effect of the proximity and sound of motorboats on the survival of juvenile Ambon Damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis) to predation by the Dusky Dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus) in the Great Barrier Reef.

After the completion of my MSc, I spent 3 months working with Reefscapers in The Madives on a coral restoration project around the island of Landaa Giraavaru.

I joined the Marine Behavioural Ecology Group at the University of Cambridge in January 2021 for a PhD funded by the Whitten Studentship in Marine Biology, and co-supervised by Dr James Herbert-Read (University of Cambridge), Prof. Steve Simpson (University of Exeter) and Prof. Andy Radford (University of Bristol).


My research area is marine fish bioacoustics and behavior, with a focus on the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles).  My PhD project aims to investigate the role of sound in the success of these invasive fishes in the Western Atlantic Ocean, and determine how acoustics may influence their behaviour and ecology.

The topics I intend to investigate involve the use of bioacoustic indexes and behavioural studies to assess the soundscape preferences of larval and adult lionfish during recruitment to, or navigation around reefs. I also aim to quantify the impact of lionfish invasion on ambient soundscapes in order to assess their negative impact on the potential detectability of invaded reefs to other recruiting species.

I ask, “Could sound be the missing link in understanding the success of this species?”. My hope is that the results of my research may contribute to improving efficiency of control efforts on lionfish, in order to help preserve biodiversity in the Caribbean region.