We work at the interface of ecological & evolutionary genomics, disease ecology and conservation biology to understand how species biology and ecology influence their exposure and vulnerability to different kinds of conservation threats.


  • November 2022 – Announcement of the UK Cetacean eDNA network initiative.
  • October 2022 – Welcome to Jeni Sage-Sidwell, Tim Brown, and Katie Prosser as new PhD candidates joining the lab.
  • October 2022 – Details of PhD and fellowship hosting opportunities for 2023 now available. Join us to work on evolutionary genomics, eDNA, pinniped conservation biology, and biosensors for disease surveillance,   more details here.
  • August 2022 – Congratulations to PhD student David Orr on submitting and defending his PhD thesis on the evolutionary genomics of life history traits in pinnipeds
  • February 2021 – Lab members participated in the seventh workshop of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, which identified 23 new candidate Important Marine Mammal Areas (cIMMAs) for the Black and Caspian Seas.

Research Highlights

  • Announcement of the UK Cetacean eDNA network – an initiative to develop eDNA monitoring of cetaceans in UK waters, more details here.
  • Our new paper describes how commercial vessels such as ocean going ferries can be used as sampling platforms for marine eDNA studies, opening up the possibility of using the global shipping network to support biodiversity monitoring in the world’s oceans.
  • In 2016 we presented the first satellite telemetry study of Caspian seals. The results gave new insights into the migration and foraging behaviour of this species and have helped with the prioritizing potential marine protected areas. This short video shows examples of animated telemetry tracks giving a snap shot of annual movement patterns.