Natasha Gillies

Seabird behaviour and ecology

I'm a BBSRC Career Development Fellow at the University of Liverpool, interested in the behavioural ecology of seabirds. I'm currently investigating individual foraging behaviour and movement ecology in kittiwakes and wandering albatrosses. I recently completed my PhD at the University of Oxford, where I explored the existence and mechanisms of coordinated parental care in Procellariform seabirds.

Research

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Liverpool

April 2021 - present

I'm working as a postdoctoral researcher with SEGUL at the University of Liverpool, where I'm exploring the drivers of movement decisions in wandering albatrosses and kittiwakes.

In albatrosses, I've been using a combination of high-resolution GPS data and long-term individual behavioural assays to (1) determine the effect of personality type on the decisions made by wandering albatross when foraging at sea and (2) examine whether infrasound might function as a long-range cue in the movement decisions of foraging albatross.

As as BBSRC Career Development Fellow, I am now turning these techniques to black-legged kittiwakes breeding across Svalbard. I'll be examining among-individual variation in behavioural flexibility, and what implications this has for the ability of individuals and populations to bear increased foraging costs.

DPhil Student, University of Oxford

September 2017 - March 2021

I worked in the OxNav research group on a BBSRC-funded project investigating the mechanisms and consequences of coordinated parental care for two Procellariiform seabirds: the Manx shearwater and the black-browed albatross. I used precision biotelemetry devices in combination with fieldwork-based experiments and observations to investigate the decisions made by parents during breeding, and whether these are made cooperatively across the pair. My thesis is available to read online here.

Get in touch at natasha.gillies [at] liverpool.ac.uk