Dr Rhiannon Austin
Rhiannon is a conservation scientist and research associate at the University of Liverpool. Her interests focus on understanding the spatial ecology of mobile marine vertebrates, and the application of this knowledge to conservation. Rhiannon currently manages a regional-scale Darwin Plus-funded project in the Caribbean, involving all 6 of the UK’s Overseas Territories (UKOT), and works closely with local stakeholders (including Government agencies, NGOs and local communities) to strengthen conservation strategies, transboundary working and capacity. Using movement data from wide-ranging seabirds, this project aims to better understand biological connectivity between island ecosystems in the Caribbean, and identify ecologically important hotspots in marine and coastal environments in need of extended conservation action. Rhiannon also works on foraging behaviour of tropical seabirds, including boobies and frigatebirds, and recently managed a Darwin Plus project in the Cayman Islands, aimed at better understanding the ecology and status of resident seabird populations, to aid national conservation strategies for this group and their habitats (www.caymanseabirds.weebly.com, @CaymanSeabirds). Rhiannon has worked on a range of species in both tropical and temperate systems, and is interested in understanding differences in movement behaviour of mobile marine vertebrates in these distinct regions.