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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonPostgraduate study

Ms Alex Nicol-Harper MSc

Postgraduate research student (SPITFIRE)

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Ms Alex Nicol-Harper is a postgraduate research student within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

2018-: PhD candidate in Ocean and Earth Science

2016-17: Research Technician with Dr Tom Ezard

2015-16: MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, at the University of Oxford

2012-15: BA Natural Sciences (Zoology), at the University of Cambridge

Research interests

For my PhD I’m studying the population dynamics of eider ducks, in collaboration with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. My background is in conservation, which in large part is population management, so this project uses a mathematical technique – matrix population modelling – to investigate the relationships between vital rates (clutch size, duckling survival, adult survival etc.) and population growth rate, in both the short- and long-term. Good estimates and predictions of population dynamics of common eiders are important, since the species is classified as threatened within Europe. We hope our findings will inform management of other seaducks, which are also at risk, and less well-known.

I first worked within the Fusion Ecology lab as a Research Technician on a Wellcome Trust project, using matrix population modelling to explore human demography. In collaboration with other researchers at the Centre for Population Change and the University of Exeter, we developed a toolkit for investigating the propensity of different populations to transient dynamics.

Research project: The not-so-Common Eider: applying transient analysis to seaduck conservation


Dr Tom Ezard
Professor Patrick Doncaster

Research group

Marine Biology and Ecology

Research project(s)

COMPADRE and COMADRE databases of population projection matrices

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Ms Alex Nicol-Harper
Ocean and Earth Science
National Oceanography Centre Southampton
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
European Way
Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS

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