Jennifer Cantlay

Jennifer Cantlay

Profile Display Name:
Jenny Cantlay
E-mail Address:
Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:

PhD Project
PhD Title
The utilisation of a sensory ecology approach to understand and address the problem of bird bycatch in fishing nets
Research Theme
Biodiversity and Ecology
Primary Supervisor

Steve Portugal

Primary Institution
Secondary Supervisor

Alex Bond

Secondary Institution
CASE Partner
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
CASE Supervisor

Every year, millions of waterbirds die through drowning as a result of being caught in gill nets.

The aim of this project is to (a) describe the sensory ecology and visual field characteristics of waterbirds that have demonstrated a propensity for getting caught as bycatch in gillnets, (b) undertake dive tanks experiments to determine dive behaviour, (c) determine the visual acuity of key species, to ascertain their visual capabilities over distance and (e) provide practical suggestions and solutions to the problem, based on findings (e.g., net panel designs).

This project will work in collaboration with Prof Graham Martin (University of Birmingham).

Policy Impact

This work will aim to influence how gillnets are designed and used, to reduce the number of waterbirds that drowned as by-catch.

Background Reading
  • Martin, G. R., Portugal, S. J. & Murn, C. P. (2012) Visual fields, foraging and collision vulnerability in Gyps vultures. Ibis. 154: 626-631.
  • Martin, G.R. & Crawford, R. (2015) Reducing bycatch in gillnets: a sensory ecology perspective. Global Ecology & Conservation. 3: 28-50.
  • Publications


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