Kirsty Neller

Evolutionary Dynamics at the Nest: Reproductive Effort and Behaviour of the Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

Research interests: Behavioural ecology, life history theory, conservation, seabirds, reproductive effort, breeding pair and parent-offspring interactions.

Bio: I am currently a PhD student and Associate Lecturer within the Psychology department at Middlesex University. Current research is focused on:

1) Developing precise measures of reproductive effort across the breeding season for a colonial nesting seabird, with a particular interest in clutch size decisions. I am also interested in the extent to which fitness investment decisions are indicative of extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

2) Parental investment behaviours at the nest are of interest, with a particular focus on interactions between breeding pairs and parent-chick interactions. My research involves exploring the link between variance in key aspects of behaviour across the colony and reproductive effort

3) Assessing risk factors associated with colonial nesting including colony structure, predation, adverse weather conditions and food availability.

I have received training and have experience using Noldus Observer software, QGIS software and a variety of bird surveying and monitoring techniques.

Publication: Dickins, T.E., Neller, K., & Spencer, R. (2018.) Clutch size in Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) on Lundy. Journal of the Lundy Field Society, 6, 35-54

Contact: K.Neller AT mdx.ac.uk