My main research interests fall under the umbrellas of conservation biology and ecology. What do different species do to survive, how do they use the landscape, what do they eat, how do they interact with each other, how have their ecologies changed over time, how are they influenced by human activities? These are just some of the fundamental questions which drive my research. I combine field ecology with quantitative techniques to find ways of answering these questions, and to generate new, important questions which can drive future research.
My current primary research is focussed on hen harriers, a bird of prey which has a broad Eurasian distribution but which is endangered in Ireland. The Supporting Hen harriers in Novel Environments (SHINE) project aims to answer questions regarding the factors affecting the breeding success of hen harriers, including habitat, forest management, threats, and current conservation measures. In addition to the core work packages, I am also developing a number of satellite projects (conducted by undergraduate and Master’s students) which will add to our understanding of hen harrier ecology in Ireland.