I’m a first year D.Phil. student on the BBSRC Doctorate Training Program here in Oxford. My research pertains primarily to the study of long distance navigation, and the mechanisms by which it is achieved and inherited. I work with Manx Shearwaters, pelagic seabirds that migrate from Argentina to Wales and back each year.
My work centres around the inheritance of directional information and the development of navigational tools in fledglings. Spending their first 2 months of life underground, young shearwaters only emerge onto the surface briefly prior to fledging. When they do leave, however, it appears that they are seemingly capable of undertaking a 10,000km journey totally unaided. Through field study and the deployment of miniaturized data-loggers, it is my aim to shed some light on this, one of the greatest animal movements in all of nature. I hope my study will inform on fields as diverse as animal cognition, biomechanics, sensory transduction and genetic inheritance.