September 2017

  • Details of PhD and fellowship hosting opportunities for 2018 will be available soon. Join us to work on evolutionary genomics, biosensors for disease surveillance or modelling demographic consequences of climate change in endangered species,   more details here.
  • Welcome to new NERC PhD student David Orr, joining the lab to work on the evolution and genomics of lactation strategies in pinnipeds.
  • New open access paper in Biological Conservation from group on how icebreaking vessels can cause impacts for breeding seals, and potential mitigation strategies.

May 2017

IMG_1953Another PhD success, well done to Dr Rebecca Thomas on defending her PhD thesis on the molecular epidemiology of Trichomonas infections in turtle doves.





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  • Congratulations to Dr Leandro Patino on passing his PhD viva on 8th March. Look for lots of great papers coming out soon from his work on the evolution of parasite communities in Galapagos giant tortoises.
  • New paper out in Royal Society Open Science on the genetic structure of harbour porpoises around the UK, showing mixing of different porpoise ecotypes on the SW coast. We also found an intriguing association between body size and admixture proportion, suggesting a potential genetic influence on the phenotypic differences between the ecotypes.


February 2017

February 2017 – An interview with The Tehran Times gives some coverage of our work on threats and conservation priorities for Caspian seals

December 2016

Caspian seal telemetry project featured in CLS’s Argos Forum.

Congratulations to Leandro Patino on submitting his PhD thesis on the “Evolution of parasite communities in Galapagos giant tortoises”.

October 2016

New PhD position on comparative genomics of seals available in my lab.

Our work on Icebreakers and Icebreeding Seals is featured in a special issue of WWF’s Global Arctic Programme “The Circle“, covering shipping in the Arctic.

August 2016

Caspian seal migration and foraging behaviour revealed through satellite telemetry

Our new paper describing the first satellite telemetry study of Caspian seals is out this week. The results give new insights into the migration and foraging behaviour of this species. This short video shows examples of animated telemetry tracks giving a snap shot of annual movement patterns.

July 2016

Workshop on the conservation of land-locked seal species – Astrakhan, Russia, 31st October 2016

As part of the 8th International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, we are co-organising a round table workshop on setting conservation priorities landlocked seal species. The workshop will take a comparative approach to assess which ecological and environmental factors influence sensitivity to different conservation threats, and how this can inform development of appropriate conservation measures. More details here.

Caspian seal bycatch

A short feature was published by covering our work on bycatch of Caspian seals in sturgeon poaching nets.

June 2016

Next Generation Sequencing Researcher Links Workshop – Almaty, Kazakhstan, September 18th-24th 2016

Together with Kazakh colleagues at the Institute of Microbiology & Virology, Almaty, we have been awarded a British Council Researcher Links  grant to hold a workshop promoting development of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) research in Kazakhstan. The grant will support travel for 13 early career UK researchers to travel to Almaty to share their experience of establishing NGS applications with Kazakh scientists. The topics will span the breadth of NGS applications, from medical diagnostic tools in the NHS, through uses in ecology & evolutionary biology, agriculture and environmental biology. More details here.

March 2016

Welcome to Laura Najera Cortazar and Linas Svolkinas who join the lab as PhD students. Laura begins a project in March looking at the ecological genomics of Myotis bats in Baja California, Mexico. Linas will start in October working on assessing cumulative human impacts on biodiversity in the Caspian and the sociopolitical factors influencing the success of conservation in the region.