I grew up in south-western Ontario, surrounded by the Great Lakes. I love nature and being outdoors so studying biology became the next natural step. I graduated from the University of Windsor, Canada with a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, I quickly learned that aquatic habitats and conservation were my true passions. I went on to complete a M.Sc. in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Ghent University, Belgium. My work focused mostly on benthic ecology, but I also gained experience in oceanographic methods and I became very interested in marine protected areas. I studied the effectiveness of an Italian Marine Protected Area by looking at benthic communities and nutrient fluxes as my dissertation. After graduating I worked for a marine offshore survey company analysing data to report on the status of and to create baseline measurements for seabed habitats. This work involved visually inspecting seabed video and imagery data, GIS mapping, statistical analysis and using existing legislation to protect sensitive habitats and species.
I joined the WWT Conservation Science team in June 2019 as a Research Officer working on the Natural Flood Management (NFM) projects in the Monksilver and Doniford catchment area and the Stroud area. My role involves undertaking monitoring work to create an evidence base for the efficacy of NFM to provide multiple benefits to these areas, including biodiversity, water quality, flood reduction and well-being to communities.
I have experience in taxonomic identification of benthic invertebrates, from a mix of freshwater and marine habitats. I have quite a bit of experience working with GIS in marine environments to map the seafloor and sensitive habitats/species. I’ve worked a lot with R Studio to perform statistical analyses. I’m trained in Particle Size Analysis, using both wet and dry sieving methods. I completed Riverfly training and have experience conducting habitat assessments using EUNIS and AMBI.