Hannah Wood

Hannah Wood

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Hannah Wood

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Start Year

2019 (Cohort 6)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title

Using remote sensing tools to determine the drivers of foraging behaviour in marine predators, and predict shifts in habitat distribution under different climate scenarios

Research Theme

Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution


Additional supervisor(s)

Dr David Jacoby (Institute of Zoology, ZSL),
Prof. Terry Dawson (Kings College London),


Marine species are under mounting global pressure from a range of potential threats, including habitat disturbance, over-exploitation and climate change. To adequately protect species, it is essential to consider not only individuals, but how species utilise the habitat around them. Identifying important foraging areas for seabirds is a key component of making effective conservation decisions. Over previous decades an increasing number of officially protected areas have been designated to conserve terrestrial wildlife habitats, the identification of equivalent important marine areas is hindered by the complexity of observing and tracking marine species. Additionally, environmental fluctuations due to both the dynamic nature of the oceans and anthropogenic climate change may alter the locations of these sites over time. Existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the UK do not reflect current seabird foraging habitat and their static design makes them unable to compensate for future climate induced oceanographic changes. Rapidly developing technology, including animal-tracking devices, satellite remote sensing platforms and predictive modelling provide opportunities to address some of these issues.
My PhD project will utilise an existing data set of approximately 2000 tracks from 8 species of satellite-tagged UK seabird in conjunction with freely available satellite remote sensing data. The focus will be identifying the environmental drivers of seabird foraging behaviour and using climate change projections to predict shifts in important seabird habitats.

Policy Impact

I hope that the results of this project can be fed into policy decisions about the design and management of Marine Protected Areas for the conservation of seabird populations.

Background Reading

Ian Cleasby (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB))




Social Links
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Personal Website:





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