Joe is a marine ecologist interested in animal movement and spatial ecology, particularly focusing on environmental drivers of foraging behaviour. He joined the Bryden Centre as a University of the Highlands and Islands Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in April 2020, primarily based out of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland. Joe also works closely with Bryden Centre affiliated staff and students at the Environmental Research Institute, Thurso, Scotland.
Using biologging technology to track the movement (both horizontal movement and diving behaviour) of marine predators, his research focuses on describing and quantifying how animals adjust their behaviour and distributions as a response to environmental and anthropogenic drivers. He is particularly interested in how energetic systems drive foraging behaviour as well as how the industrialisation of these habitats, through installation and operation of renewable energy developments, may affect these behaviours. The ultimate applied goal of this research is to provide renewable energy developers with a quantitative assessment of how to proceed in an ecologically sustainable manner.
As a Bryden Centre funded researcher, Joe intends to investigate the behavioural changes of harbour seals near a tidal turbine array in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. In light of results from his PhD which suggested that seals avoided these structures during operations, he will work with acousticians at SAMS to estimate acoustic exposure during these operational periods and provide the industry with further information as to the environmental impact of their devices.
Joe has a history of working with a wide range of researchers in Scotland including those within the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme, Marine Scotland Science and SMRU Consulting investigating questions related to animal mortality, interactions between seals and shipping, and the effects of renewable energy installations, and continues to focus on establishing collaborations to answer his research questions.
Follow him on Twitter @JojoOnoufriou