Aline da Silva Cerqueira

Aline da Silva Cerqueira

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Aline da Silva Cerqueira

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Start Year

2017 (Cohort 4)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Acoustic tracking of ocean wanderers: revealing behavioural context on the wing

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



Over recent decades, the status of the world’s seabirds has deteriorated, with several species heading towards extinction. Seabirds often forage near fishing vessels resulting in huge numbers of seabirds being killed accidentally in longline and trawl fisheries every year. Determining whether individuals forage in groups, the species composition of these groups, and the occurrence of fishing vessel interactions (for example, where they occur and how many species are involved) would provide invaluable information regarding the nature of seabird foraging behaviour, especially of vulnerable species and those threatened with extinction.

This research project proposes to combine miniature audio recording devices with low-cost GPS loggers to record and assess the behaviour and context of seabirds foraging at sea. Such recordings should reveal whether these individuals are foraging in groups (by the distribution of calls in the recordings), whether they forage with other species (by identifying species in recordings) and potentially whether they come in to contact with fishing vessels during foraging.

By understanding intra and inter-species social interactions during foraging at sea and mapping the overlap between seabirds and fisheries, this study aims to identify mitigating measures and conservation efforts to protect seabird life where and when they are most needed.

Policy Impact
Background Reading



Defra 04/11/2019 – 04/02/2020.

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