Lucy Garrett
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Personal profile


I am a research lecturer in Animal Science with a focus on animal behaviour and conservation ecology. I have a passion for wildlife conservation, which I have actively pursued a field-based career in, including in Mauritius and New Zealand. I have a broad background in ecology and conservation sectors, having worked for NGO’s, Government Departments, the private sector, as well as in education. Throughout my career research has always been a central focus. I believe that good quality research together with engagement has the ability to support and promote positive conservation outcomes. My PhD focused on a large population of seabirds, true barometers of our ocean health and status. I have presented my research at international conferences in the UK, Montpelier and South Africa.

Having coordinated the Mauritius Fody (a small song bird) recovery programme for the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation (MWF), where I worked for over four years, I have extensive practical experience in species conservation and recovery. During this time the species was downlisted to Endangered following a successful translocation project. I have also undertaken research in New Zealand, working as a Biodiversity Ranger for the Government Department of Conservation (DOC) where I worked on the Critically Endangered Orange-fronted Parakeet and Kakapo. I then went on to work in UK environmental consultancy specializing in ecosystem services and cost-benefit analysis that aim to account for our natural resources in sustainable development and decision making.

I am a firm believer in engaged research, having undertaken and supervised a course on this subject at the Open University. The principles of this underline the importance of our responsibility to those whom our research is aimed, and as scientists, how we can increase engagement and accessibility with both academics and non-academics, throughout the research process and not just with its outputs. I actively aim to make my research integrated and accessible, and have produced short documentaries available on YouTube, worked with local schools to develop topic sessions as well as delivered a programme based on my PhD research to a group of secondary school children with The Brilliant Club. The latter aims to encourage students from non-selective state schools to apply to highly selective universities.

Research interests

My research centres on animal behaviour and conservation taking a multidisciplinary approach to combine animal behaviour and social dynamics, population dynamics, animal movement and population genetics.

My PhD research, undertaken at the University of Birmingham through NERC CENTA doctoral training partnership, focused on a colonial seabird, the sooty tern, that breeds on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. This work aimed to understand the ecology and population trends of the sooty tern, a small seabird that breeds in huge numbers on the island. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with the Ascension Island Government Conservation and Fisheries Department (AIGCFD) and the Army Ornithological Society (AOS), with whom I developed methods for monitoring chick survival, a logistical challenge given that the seabird colony exceeds 100,000 individuals and chicks are precocial. Primarily, this ongoing work focuses on the application of different tools to understand behaviour and survival strategies. I investigated chick social connectivity during the chick development stage, and whether this impacts daily survival rates. I have also undertaken genetic analyses to assess levels of population genetic structure and relatedness within the population.

I am currently promoting a project to maximise biodiversity on our amazing 360ha campus. As a first step I have been running moth trapping nights as part of the University Moth Challenge in conjunction with the Butterfly Conservation Trust. We have had some incredible species turn up in our traps and very high numbers of both species and individuals. This research will provide essential baseline data for assessing any benefits of future management actions. To a vision for a sustainable campus, I have recently undertaken CPD by attending a Small-Scale Rewilding workshop delivered by the Knepp Estate, pioneers of rewilding in practice in the UK. I have also secured funding to undertake research on our campus and working farm to use remote sensing technology with bioacoustics to survey bird and bat populations. It is hoped that this will inform a larger project to developed app-based interface which farmers and land managers can utilise to inform management with biodiversity in mind and to use to support outcome-based payments for wildlife.

Current teaching

I currently teach at all levels of undergraduate provision and am module lead for Behavioural Ecology (2nd Year), Principles of Ecology (1st Year) and Biodiversity and Conservation (3rd Year). I am personal academic tutor for Zoology (BSc) first year students. I contribute to teaching on the following modules:

  • Principles of Ecology
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Professional Academic Skills
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Field Course to South Africa

I supervise a wide range of UG and PG student dissertations related to topics in animal behaviour, ethics and welfare, environmental accountability, conservation and ecology. Some of these projects have involved external collaboration with organisations including the Jersey Met Office, Cotswold Falconry Centre and the Gloucestershire Moth Group.   

I also run practical field courses centering on biodiversity monitoring, sampling and surveying techniques and species ID for plants, birds, invertebrates and small mammals. To support my teaching, I invite a number of external guest speakers who bring a diverse range of expertise and in-practice knowledge to our students. I also run field trips to wildlife reserves and zoos.

Creative works

Natural history

  • Scientific taxidermist and advocate of the benefits of natural collections for advancing science, The Natural History Museum, 2001 – present.


  • Printmaker: Exhibitor of art work at the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall galleries 2012, 2013, 2014. Exhibitor at the BTO Annual conference: 2015-2017.

Previous positions

Lecturer in Aninmal Ecology and Conservation, University of Birmingham. UK

External positions and memberships

  • The British Ornithologists Union (BOU)
  • The British Ecological Society (BES)
  • Gloucestershire Moth Group
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • The European Society for Evolutionary Ecology (ESEB)
  • Peer reviewer: Ibis
  • Academia Special Interest Group CIEEM 

Doctoral supervisions and completions

Current PGRs:

Alice Doyle: January 2024 – current. To investigate how housing and husbandry factors impact the health and welfare of captive vultures in EAZA zoos

Education/Academic qualification

Applied Ecology and Conservation, MSc, University of East Anglia

30 Sept 200430 Sept 2005

Award Date: 18 Aug 2006

Ecology, BSc, University of East Anglia

30 Sept 200120 Aug 2004

Award Date: 28 Aug 2004

Ecology/Biology Seabirds, PhD, From population to individual: Colony dynamics and structure in time and space of a highly social seabird, University of Birmingham

30 Sept 201426 Sept 2019


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