Richard Sherley

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Member of  Dr Stephen Votier's research group.

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Dr Richard Sherley

Leiden Conservation Foundation Research Fellow


I try to understand the impacts of anthropogenic and environmental change on marine ecosystems by studying the foraging ecology and population biology of seabirds. I am particularly interested in the drivers of dispersal behaviour and survival of non-breeding individuals as these issues have received little attention in marine predators, even though they may play vital roles in buffering populations against collapse. More broadly, I'm interested in how the conditions that animals experience during their early development influence later fitness, how to consider life-history strategies in conservation planning and how technology can assist our efforts to understand changes in animal populations by creating minimally-invasive solutions to gather ecological data. I am also a Research Associate with the Bristol Zoological Society.


Research publication titles

Research interests

  • Seabird ecology
  • Seabird-fisheries interactions
  • Population dynamics
  • Marine Conservation
  • Non-invasive monitoring methods

Current projects

  • Impacts of commercial fisheries on threatened seabirds in southern Africa.
  • Long-term drivers of penguin population dynamics on Robben Island (an Earthwatch Citizen Science project:
  • Recruitment, survival and dispersal of immature African penguins in response to large-scale changes in the Benguela ecosystem.
  • Impacts of climate change on surface nesting seabirds.
  • PhD Studentship: Population dynamics, foraging behaviour and distribution of greater crested terns in a changing environment.


2010 PhD Ecology (University of Bristol)
BSc Psychology and Zoology (University of Bristol)


2011-2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Editorial Assistant, F1000 Medicine

Contact details

Building Environment and Sustainability Institute
Room 1.03
Address University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
Cornwall TR10 9FE