Dr Debbie Russell

Research Fellow

SOI 2.07a
tel. 01334 467281/1808
fax. 01334 463443
dr60@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Position

Current

I am a senior research fellow at the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) and am affiliated with the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Monitoring (CREEM) where I spend one day a week.

Past

2011-2014   Post-doctoral research fellow, Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews.

2008-2010   Research fellow, Centre for Research into Environmental and Ecological Monitoring, University of St Andrews.

2005-2009   PhD: "Modelling the effect of climate variation on British seabirds" University of Leeds.

 

General Information

I am interested in the marine ecosystem and species at the interface between the marine and terrestrial environments, namely seals and seabirds which are dependent on the marine ecosystem for food but on the terrestrial environment for breeding.  I am particularly interested in interactions on various levels: among different taxa, between species and humans, and between species and their changing environment.

 

Research

  • Investigation of seal population trends and their drivers.
  • Using a mixture of Bayesian and frequentist methods to analyse harbour and grey seal telemetry data to answer both pure and applied research questions.
  • Investigation of the impact of anthropogenic structures, their construction, operation and decommisioning, on marine predators.
  • Using movement and behavioural data within a state-space modelling framework to define activity budgets.
  • Modelling interactions between seals and fisheries in a spatial context, using state space models.
  • Modelling the effect of climate variation on British seabirds.

 

Current Group

  • PhD: Katherine Whyte, “Behavioural responses by seals to offshore energy activities”. 
  • Post Doc: Matt Carter, “Comparative Habitat preference of seals around UK”. 

 

Alumni

  • Post doc
    •  James Grecian (2017), "Man-made structures and Apex Predators: Spatial interactions and overlap" (funded by INSITE)
  • PhD
    • J. Chris McKnight (2018). Counting the Cost of Tagging: Quantifying and Reducing the Behavioural and Energetic Impacts of Tags in a Large Marine Vertebrate.
    • Matt Carter (2018). From pup to predator: Ontogeny of foraging behaviour in grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups
  • Masters
    • Sara Young (2012). Potential Effects of Captivity on Dive Behaviour and Movement Patterns of Juvenile Grey Seals
    • Raquel Soley Calvet (2011). Living among giants: Habitat modelling of Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Northern Gulf of St. Lawrence
    • J. Chris McKnight (2011). Short-term effects of capture and tag attachment in common seals, Phoca vitulina.

Teaching

  • 2nd year interdisciplinary module "Science Methods"
  • Marine Mammal Biology and Environmental Biology Masters.
    • Quantitative Methods for Ecology
    • Research Methods in Marine Mammal Science

 

 

Publications

Hastie, GD, Russell, DJF, Lepper, P, Elliott, J, Wilson, B, Benjamins, S & Thompson, D 2018, 'Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk' Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 684-693. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12981
Grecian, WJ, Masden, EA, Hammond, PS, Owen, E, Daunt, F, Wanless, S & Russell, DJF 2018, Man-made structures and Apex Predators: Spatial interactions and overlap (MAPS). INSITE.
Hall, AJ & Russell, DJF 2018, Gray Seal, Halichoerus grypus. in Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. 3 edn, Academic Press/Elsevier .
Russell, DJF, Jones, EL & Morris, C 2017, Updated Seal Usage Maps: The Estimated at-sea Distribution of Grey and Harbour Seals. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, no. 25, vol. 8, Scottish Government. DOI: 10.7489/2027-1
Carter, MID, Russell, DJF, Embling, CB, Blight, CJ, Thompson, D, Hosegood, PJ & Bennett, KA 2017, 'Intrinsic and extrinsic factors drive ontogeny of early-life at-sea behaviour in a marine top predator' Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 15505. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15859-8
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