Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton

Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton

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Thalassa McMurdo Hamilton

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Start Year

2016 (Cohort 3)

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PhD Project
PhD Title

Quantifying utility of conservation interventions for threatened species recovery: the future of seabird management

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution


Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution



I am interested in the efficacy of conservation interventions, which can often involve a high degree of risk and a large economic cost. Seabird populations globally are in decline due to the diversity of threats they face at sea and on land. Predation of eggs and chicks at their breeding sites by invasive mammal species presents the greatest threat to seabird populations. Invasive species eradication is becoming a highly effective and widely used tool, but seabird restoration tools to recover breeding seabird communities, particularly chick translocation, are still underused. I aim to quantitatively review the utility of past seabird restoration programmes and investigate the utility and future opportunities for various seabird restoration tools in a changing world. Understanding with which ecological and life-history scenarios each intervention performs best will be an important management tool. This will include testing the assumption that certain seabird species are unsuitable for chick translocation in a field experiment. Conservation managers often face difficult decisions when choosing the right management actions to recover threatened species. Finally, I aim to evaluate the use of structured decision-making analysis for the recovery of an endangered seabird using quantitative models.

Policy Impact
Background Reading



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