Emma completed her Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Trinity College Dublin, during which time she started to develop an interest in the distribution of species. Upon graduating in 2009 she undertook an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College London. Her MSc dissertation was an analysis of the impacts of by-catch on the fish species Antimora Rostrata, in terms of both biology and distribution. She has spent a number of years working in science communication roles, including Communications Manager at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London. In 2015 she decided to return to research and is now undertaking an MSc by research on seabird distribution at UCC.
Emma’s broad research interest is in studying and understanding species distributions – where individuals and populations are found and for what reasons. Her current research is part of the PIP funded project on ‘Developing a tool to predict seabird vulnerability to oil pollution’, supervised by Professor John Quinn and Dr Mark Jessopp. Currently very little is known about where Irish seabird populations go at sea. Using data on colony locations, size and species foraging behaviour she will be building a model to predict the distribution of seabirds at sea off the west coast of Ireland. Predictive distribution models have the potential to be a quick and cost effective way of assessing at-sea distributions, and could be applicable for a wide range of species.