Ashley gained his MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology in 2012 from the University of Exeter. During this time he worked on the ecology of Northern gannets developing his interest in foraging, movement, and seabird ecology. Following from this, he worked as a field assistant in northern Sweden as part of a long-term study assessing the evolution of life history strategies in Siberian jays and song thrushes. Since January 2014 he has worked as a research assistant in the Marine Ecology Group at MaREI. Whilst there, he has worked on a multitude of seabird tagging and at sea survey projects.
Ashley’s research focuses on the application of techniques used to determine the at-sea behaviour of seabirds. Much seabird mortality occurs at sea through birds being bycaught in fishing gear, consuming or becoming entangled in marine litter, and encountering oil spills, making the designation of protected areas at sea paramount to the conservation of seabirds. His research looks at ways to assess how seabirds use the marine environment and where they are likely to be most susceptible to human impacts. He is also interested the combination of different data sources such as tagging data, at-sea surveys, and remote sensing and how these may inform our knowledge of seabirds.
- Bennison, A. & Jessopp, M (2015) At Sea Surveys confirm north Atlantic biodiversity hotspot. Bird Study, 63, 262-266.
- Bennison, A., Bodey, T., Jessopp, M., Bearhop, S. (in prep) Using time depth recorders to project fine scale foraging effort in a marine predator; the northern gannet. Intended journal: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
Part of the Irish team of the MARLISCO project, promoting social awareness and co-responsibility of marine litter in European seas, a key issue related to Ashley’s research interests. This project resulted in several reports being presented to the European Commission.