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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Katie St John Glew

PhD in Retrospective geo-location of free-living marine animals - new tools for spatial ecology, natural resource management and conservation

Katie St John Glew's Photo

Hi, I'm Katie St John Glew and I studied within Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute at the University of Southampton.

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2012 with a first class honours in Master of Marine Science, and while on this course, became interested in spatial ecology. After graduating I interned within the Ecological Stable Isotope Laboratory at NIWA, New Zealand and got insight into new techniques using stable isotopes to infer spatial origin in wild marine animals.

The aim of my PhD research is to develop new isotope geolocation products that can be used to assign an animal to a specific region of the ocean. My project is based on matching natural chemical (stable isotope) compositions measured in animal tissues to maps of the spatial variation in these isotopes (isoscapes) across coastal seas and open oceans. The techniques can be applied to any animal that feeds in marine waters (e.g. fishes, whales, seabirds), and ultimately we hope that these tools will be used in marine management, fisheries science and conservation.

My PhD is an interdisciplinary project bringing together ocean biogeochemistry, spatial ecology and Bayesian Statistics to develop new tools to infer movements of marine animals. I am supervised by Dr. Clive Trueman (from Ocean and Earth Science), Dr. Felix Eigenbrod (from the Centre for Biological Sciences) and Professor Sujit Sahu (from Mathematical Sciences). Dr Trueman’s expertise in stable isotope ecology and isoscape development, Professor Sahu’s expertise in applying Bayesian spatial statistical methods to continuous model data and Dr Eigenbrod’s expertise in spatial ecology and ecosystem services will all contribute to addressing these scientific questions. My PhD is also a partnership between Southampton and NIWA in New Zealand, providing more applied case studies and opportunities for travel!

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