BSc Marine Biology, University of Bangor
MSc Marine Ecology, TMEL, Simon Fraser University
What I am now
Research scientist and environmental educator, Sustainable East Africa
For my MSc, I examined the effects of boat disturbance on Antillean manatees in Southern Lagoon, Belize. I used a GIS-based Ecological Niche Factor Analysis to test whether manatees trade resources for safety. I found evidence for a shift away from abundant resources (i.e., seagrass) but not from a spatially limited one (i.e., warm refuge) near boats. Thus, warm-water availability appeared to be the key driver of manatee habitat use. The importance of warm refuges for manatees in Belize had not previously been recognised and should be prioritised in future management strategies and tourism guidelines.