I am a PhD student studying sexual segregation in Antarctic fur seals. I aim to understand how sexual segregation develops as Antarctic fur seals grow and age by analysing tracking data and stable isotopes in their whiskers. This research is important because males and females can have different foraging distributions, dive depths and diets, so may have different impacts on the marine ecosystem. My supervisory team includes Dr Iain Staniland and Dr Norman Ratcliffe from the British Antarctic Survey and Dr Stephen Votier from the University of Exeter.
During my PhD I enjoyed assisting Dr Alastair Baylis deploy GPS and satellite tags on adult female Southern sea lions and South American fur seals in the Falkland Islands. I also deployed satellite tags on South American fur seals pups to gain insights into their dispersal after weaning, which is an on-going project supported by a National Geographic Early Career Grant, The South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) and the Seal Conservation Society.
For my Bachelor’s degree, I studied Marine Vertebrate Zoology at Bangor University and Oregon State University. I also interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, Alaska, where I assisted with necropsies for the sea otter health-monitoring programme. I then completed my Master’s degree in Marine Environmental Management at the University of York. For my MSc dissertation I researched the expansion of a grey seal colony in Lincolnshire. I also completed a summer placement in Northern Ireland, where I studied the behaviour of harbour seal mother-pup pairs with Dr Sue Wilson from the Seal Conservation Society.
I hope to continue studying seals in my future career and I look forward to meeting people with similar research interests – my twitter name is @kayleigh_seals.
Wilson, S.C., and Jones, K.A., 2018. Behaviour of harbour seal (Phoca vitulina vitulina) mother-pup pairs in Irish Sea intertidal habitats. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 2018. DOI: 10.3318/BIOE.2018.02