Professional summary

Dave has a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh, specialising in wildlife and fisheries management. His PhD in Ecological Science, also from Edinburgh, investigated the effects of piscivorous birds on fish farms on the west coast of Scotland.      

He has worked as a vertebrate ecologist for UKCEH (formerly ITE, then CEH) since 1989, specialising in predator-prey relationships, stock assessment, and sustainable co-management. Field experience has included a number of predator-prey studies involving amphibians (frogs and toads), fishes (including coastal intertidal communities), birds, and carnivores (otters and wild and domestic cats).

Much of Dave’s work involves biodiversity issues — particularly in relation to human and societal relationships with ‘Nature’. Taking this interdisciplinary perspective, Dave gained an MRes (Distinction) in Social Research at the University of Aberdeen, allowing his research to collate and synthesise ecological knowledge and to integrate this with social science perspectives. His research has also explored human:environment relationships and the interfaces between science and both policy‐making and environmental co-management, often with commercial or recreational fisheries as model cases.

Current work projects include: human-wildlife conflicts and mitigation strategies for Norwegian coastal areas; research for Scottish and Welsh Governments and NGOs on goosander and cormorant diet on Scottish salmon rivers, tagging and tracking of these birds, and scoping of a wintering sawbill duck survey methodology on salmon rivers; the diet and foraging ecology of white-tailed eagles in Scotland; investigations into the use of eDNA techniques to assess fish-eating bird diet; and, providing advice on fish-eating bird ecology and management.

Selected publications