Dr Shannon Fowler secures £130k to study seabirds with Roehampton

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The research project will use Roehampton's custom research software to explore how aging affects the behaviour of black-legged kittiwakes

Image - Dr Shannon Fowler secures £130k to study seabirds with Roehampton

Dr Shannon Fowler has secured a £130,000 Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship, funded by the National Environment Research Council and to work as a Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton. She will study the ecology, physiology and behaviour of seabirds, specifically, the black-legged kittiwake, a type of gull. Originally from California, Dr Fowler has travelled widely, including working as a marine mammal biologist in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and teaching courses on killer whales in the San Juan Islands.

The Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship was founded to support researchers, like Dr Fowler, who are returning to academia after time away. Dr Fowler was assisted with the year-long application process by Dr Lewis Halsey and Dr Andrea Perna, who will also be her supervisors at Roehampton during the study.

Dr Fowler was attracted by the University's strong research record, particularly that of the Centre for Research in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. The three-year project will involve spending four weeks conducting research in the field in Alaska, examining how aging impacts flying, foraging, physiology and reproduction in black-legged kittiwakes. This research will involve large, detailed information sets, which the Department of Life Sciences is well-equipped to handle, with a wealth of experience and a large library of custom software.

Dr Fowler says, ‘Roehampton's highly collaborative research environment and strong track record in field research make it an ideal fit for my research. As well as working with Dr Halsey and Dr Perna at the University, I'll spend four weeks in a tent on a remote, uninhabited island in the Pacific with other researchers in the summers of 2020 and 2021. It's not for everyone, but I can't wait!’

The University of Roehampton is the most research-intensive modern university in the UK, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework. We offer numerous postgraduate degrees in the field of Life Sciences, including an MSc by Research in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour.