My interest in the relationship between animals and their environment began very early in my life and led me to explore the field of Ecology. Although I have established I do not have a flare for computer modelling, throughout my undergraduate degree I have become increasingly fascinated by Behavioural Ecology. The reasons why animals behave as they do, the points at which it would be evolutionarily adaptive to change behaviours, and the inexplicable variations in personal behavioural types fascinates me. This interest in animal behaviour has led to my involvement in studies (volunteering for INCA and the Canal and River Trust) on the River Tees to determine both the population size and the feeding behaviour of common and grey seals.
My interests and volunteering experiences have spurred me on to do my Master’s degree and I am beginning the 4th year of my MBiol with Dr Sean Twiss as my supervisor. My masters project focuses on the comparative diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of lactating female grey seals; something that has not been explored in any detail before. Only two studies have centred on diurnal vs. nocturnal activity budgets in grey seals. My research will hopefully give some insight into whether nocturnal and diurnal activity budgets, which have for so long been assumed to be very similar, do differ and if so in what way they differ.