Seabird Ecology Group, University of Liverpool

We are a group of marine ecologists, based in the UK, specialising in the study, research and conservation of seabirds around the world. 

We are currently advertising a number of PhD opportunities. Please see our Join Us page for more information on these.

SEGUL are excited to welcome a new ACCE-funded PhD student to the group. Finn McCully will be working alongside Sam Patrick (and co-supervisors Ben Hatchwell and Stephen Cornell) in order to research how Arctic seabirds coordinate parental care in a changing climate.

Four SEGUL members are leading symposia at the 3rd World Seabird Conference in Hobart, Tasmania in October 2020. All are welcome to submit an abstract, deadline is 30th November 2019:

1) Ruth Dunn and Jon Green (with Brendon Dunphy, Kyle Elliot and Sasha Kitaysky): "Conservation physiology in seabirds: understanding mechanisms, causes and consequences in a changing world"

2) Sam Patrick (with Stephanie Jenouvrier): "Individual heterogeneity in seabirds' life histories ecology and evolution"

3) Tommy Clay (with Richard Phillips and Lesley Thorne): "Effects of wind and weather on seabird navigation, foraging and energetics"

We recently celebrated Alice Trevail's success in her PhD viva! Alice completed a PhD on seabird foraging in response to environmental drivers. She is now a post-doctoral researcher on the British Indian Ocean Territory Seabird project, based at the University of Exeter. Follow her exciting career via her personal website.


Rahel Borrmann is based here for 5 months learning spatial and movement analysis, funded by the ERASMUS+ programme. She recently defended her PhD based at Kiel University on individual movements and prey choice in large gulls.

From 3rd - 6th September 2018 we hosted the 14th International Seabird Group Conference here in Liverpool. The conference is now over but we had a really amazing few days showcasing and talking about the latest in seabird science. More details can be found on the 2018 Conference tab

To read more about what members SEGUL have been up to recently please head to our Blog tab.

Recent Publications:

For an extensive list of SEGUL publications, please see the Research tab.

The first paper from Rahel Borrman's PhD, conducted at the Research and Technology Centre (FTZ), University of Kiel has been accepted in the Journal of Avian Biology. Rahel found almost complete foraging segregation of individual greater black-backed gulls. 


Tommy Clay and Sam Patrick have been involved in a review of R packages for movement ecology, out now in Journal of Animal Ecology. The paper, led by Rocio Joo at the University of Florida, is the first from the HFSP-funded project

The first paper of Steph Harris' PhD is out now in Journal of Animal Ecology. Steph found that differences in boldness predict foraging site fidelity and foraging trip repeatability in kittiwakes.

Tommy Clay and Alice Trevail have been involved in a review of the use of bio-logging technology within movement ecology, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

Alice Trevail has published new work in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Environmental heterogeneity decreases reproductive success via effects on foraging behaviour.

Ruth Dunn has published new insights into auk diving behaviour outside the breeding season in Journal of Avian Biology.


Tommy Clay has mapped hotspots of where threatened seabirds are most at risk from unsustainable fishing practices. Out now in Journal of Applied Ecology.

Rhiannon Austin's new paper on the sex-influenced bimodial foraging strategies of the magnificent frigatebird is out now in MEPS.

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