Non-linear Responses of a Seabird Top-predator to Coastal Marine Environmental Change

Richard Howells


Start Year: 2014, 1st cohort

Host University: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh

Department: Coastal Seas Ecology Group

Supervisors: Dr Francis Daunt (CEH), Dr Jon Green (University of Liverpool)

Richard Howells

Academic profile


BSc First Class Honors, Ecology (4 Year), Cardiff University, 2006-2010


Work experience

Ecologist – Soltys Brewster Ecology, Cardiff, 2012- 2014

Conducted site and protected species surveys. Contributed to the design and implementation of mitigation strategies.

Environmental Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator – Sharpham Outdoors, Devon, 2011 

Planned and led environmental education/engagement programs with a range of audiences, managed projects and conducted ecological surveys.

Research Assistant – Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh, 2008-2009 

As a member of both the Environmental Change Integrated Project and the Environmental Change Network was responsible for organizing / developing / preparing laboratory and fieldwork, equipment, and collecting and processing data.

Ornithological Field Surveyor – Rhyd y Blew, Ebbw Vale, 2003 – 2008 

Conducted fieldwork for and assisted with the writing of a “Lapwing Population Monitoring Report‟ which included population estimates and nesting success using RSPB/BTO criteria.


Skills and relevant qualifications

Ecological consultancy – Three years’ experience in site and protected species surveys (Phase 1, Bat, Reptile, Badger and Breeding Bird).

Ornithology – Bird Ringer (C-permit holder) and excellent nest finding credentials.Bush craft – Delivered workshops and schools on bush craft and survival in the UK and Australia.

Public engagement – extensive experience planning and leading environmental education and engagement sessions with a range of audiences. Coordinated an estate wide volunteer program.

Mental Health First Aid – trained in first aid response for people in mental health distress.


ACCE PhD Research topic

Non-linear Responses of a Seabird Top-predator to Coastal Marine Environmental Change

My current research focuses on the links between diet and demography in the European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis, and how these relationships have changed over time. I am also interested community ecology, in particular ecosystem responses to environmental change. By gaining a more comprehensive understanding of how species and ecosystems respond to both natural and anthropogenic perturbations we can make more informed assessments to the value of species as indicators of coastal marine environmental change.