Dr Debbie Russell

Senior Research Fellow

SOI 2.07a
tel. 01334 467281/1808
fax. 01334 463443
dr60@st-andrews.ac.uk

Position

I am a senior research fellow at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and am affiliated with the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Monitoring (CREEM) where I am spend one day a week.

 

General Information

I am interested in the marine ecosystem and species at the interface between the marine and terrestrial environments, namely seals and seabirds which are dependent on the marine ecosystem for food but on the terrestrial environment for breeding.  I am particularly interested in interactions on various levels: among different taxa, between species and humans, and between species and their changing environment.

 

Research

  • Investigation of seal population trends and their drivers.
  • Using a mixture of Bayesian and frequentist methods to analyse harbour and grey seal telemetry data to answer both pure and applied research questions.
  • Investigation of the impact of anthropogenic structures, their construction, operation and decommisioning, on marine predators.
  • Using movement and behavioural data within a state-space modelling framework to define activity budgets.
  • Modelling interactions between seals and fisheries in a spatial context, using state space models.
  • Modelling the effect of climate variation on British seabirds.

 

PhD students

  • J.Chris McKnight, University of St Andrews. "Effects of tag attachment in a large marine vertebrate". Co-supervised with Dave Thompson and Sophie Brasseur.
  • Matt Carter, University of Plymouth. "How do grey seal pups learn how to forage? Using telemetry data to understand development of foraging behaviour in relation to oceanography and potential disturbance".  Co-supervised with Clare Embling,  Kimberley Bennett and Phil Hosegood.
  • Katherine Whyte, University of St Andrews. “Behavioural responses by seals to offshore energy activities”.  Co-supervised with Gordon Hastie, Len Thomas and Carol Sparling.

 

Post-doc

  • James Grecian, University of St Andrews. MAPS project funded by INSITE. "Man-made structures and Apex Predators: Spatial interactions and overlap"

 

Teaching

  • 2nd year interdisciplinary module "Science Methods"
  • Marine Mammal Biology and Environmental Biology Masters.
    • Quantitative Methods for Ecology
    • Research Methods in Marine Mammal Science

 

 

Publications

Hastie, GD, Russell, DJF, Lepper, P, Elliott, J, Wilson, B, Benjamins, S & Thompson, D 2017, 'Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk' Journal of Applied Ecology, vol Early View. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12981
Metcalfe, K, Collins, T, Abernethy, KE, Boumba, R, Dengui, J-C, Miyalou, R, Parnell, RJ, Plummer, KE, Russell, DJF, Safou, GK, Tilley, D, Turner, RA, VanLeeuwe, H, Witt, MJ & Godley, BJ 2017, 'Addressing uncertainty in marine resource management; combining community engagement and tracking technology to characterize human behavior' Conservation Letters, vol 10, no. 4, pp. 459-468. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12293
Jones, EL, Smout, SC, Russell, DJ, Pinn, E & McConnell, BJ 2017, Review of analytical approaches for identifying usage and foraging areas at sea for harbour seals. vol. 602, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.
Chen, F, Shapiro, GI, Bennett, KA, Ingram, SN, Thompson, D, Vincent, C, Russell, DJF & Embling, CB 2017, 'Shipping noise in a dynamic sea: a case study of grey seals in the Celtic Sea' Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol 114, no. 1, pp. 372-383. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.09.054
Jones, EL & Russell, DJ 2017, Updated grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) usage maps in the North Sea. vol. OESEA-15-65, Department of Energy and Climate Change.
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