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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. 

This autumn we welcome Linnet, our newest segul PhD, who will be working with Sam Patrick on how climate change will impact polar ecosystem functioning, and specifically, how polar seabirds will be impacted by climate change.


Her project focuses on polar seabirds’ ability to adapt and respond to environmental change. She will be assessing variation and plasticity in behaviour in response to a changing environment, while comparing differences between individuals, populations and species, and linking this to variability in environmental drivers of distribution and population trends.


We look forward to seeing what she's got in-store for us!

Farewell and the best of luck to Lila Buckingham, who has finished her time as a SEGUL PhD and is moving on to a new role as a postdoctoral Researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Trondheim. She will be looking at assessing seabird sensitivity to marine stressors using agent-based modelling. Sounds like an adventure!

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

Congratulations to Sophie Bennett! She has just published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, outlining her finding that breeding guillemots disproportionately occupy high-quality breeding sites during periods of reduced sub-colony size. Read all about Sophie's work on the resulting 'buffer effect' here!    


Lila Buckingham's first PhD paper is now out in Marine Ecology Progress Series. Lila investigated the level of non-breeding aggregation between multiple colonies of common guillemots and razorbills, with different implications for the potential likelihood and severity of exposure to marine threats in the two species.

Former SEGUL Ruth Dunn, now a Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University, has published a paper with Lila Buckingham and other co-authors on two findings of barnacles attached to geolocator-immersion devices that were deployed on seabirds. 

Former SEGUL member Alice Trevail's final paper from her PhD is out in the Journal of Animal Ecology. It is an exploration of individual specialism in habitat selection in black-legged kittiwakes. 

Lila Buckingham has co-authored a paper on age- and population-based risks of offshore wind farms to gannets, available in Marine Environmental Research

Jamie Duckworth's  latest publication is now available in the Journal of Avian Biology! Jamie's paper explores the spatial and temporal variation in the foraging patterns of breeding red-throated divers.


Rhiannon Austin has published a paper in Movement Ecology on interspecific and intraspecific differences in foraging of sympatric tropical seabirds in the Caribbean 

Sam Patrick has recently co-authored a longitudinal study on sexual segregation in gannet movement patterns which can be read in Marine Ecology Progress Series. 

Environmental influences and pace-of-life syndromes are central to Sam Patrick's recent work published in Ethology.


Steph Harris has published her second paper from her PhD thesis! It focusses on personality mediated carry-over effects on breeding kittiwakes and can be read in Proceedings of Royal Society B.

More fantastic work from Sam Patrick can be found in her co-authored paper on the effects of marine ecosystem perturbation on northern gannet survival, published in Marine Biology.  

Sam Patrick's recent paper in Oikos describes a negative relationship between age (and therefore sexual conflict) and the coordination of parental effort in black-browed albatrosses. 


Tommy Clay has co-authored a paper in Diversity and Distributions investigating the environmental drivers of contrasting movements of juvenile and adult seabirds, and their implications for conservation.

Alice Carravieri has published work form her Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship in Environmental Science and Technology. Alice has identified associations between environmental contaminants and gastrointestinal parasites in European shags.

Tommy Clay's latest work on the influence of wind on the flight decisions of albatrosses is out now in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

The second chapter of Teri Jones' PhD thesis has been pubished in Ecology Letters. Teri utilised a multi-layer social network approach to look at how seabird social associations change across different foraging states and environments.

Tommy Clay has co-authored a paper in Diversity and Distributions evaluating the effectiveness of the large Marine Protected Area around South Georgia in protecting key habitats for 14 marine predator species. 


Ruth Dunn has published work on the year-round behaviour and energetics of common guillemots. She's written a SEGUL blog about this research and the paper is also open access in Scientific Reports.

The first paper of Jamie Duckworth's PhD is out now in Marine Ornithology! In this work Jamie explores the diving behaviour of a red throated diver within the freshwater lakes of Finland.

Tommy Clay has co-authored a Journal of Applied Ecology paper presenting a framework to combine biologging, phenology and demography data to map year-round seabird distributions, applying it to 22 albatross and petrels in the Southern Ocean.

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