Alex Nicol-Harper

Alex is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Southampton (on the SPITFIRE DTP), in collaboration with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (USA). She uses population modelling (specifically Matrix Population Models and Bayesian methods) to explore life history patterns and inform conservation, with the common eider and black-browed albatross as study species.

Her background is in biology (Natural Sciences undergrad) and conservation (MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management). Prior to her PhD she was a Research Technician on her primary supervisor Tom Ezard’s Wellcome Trust-funded project on transient dynamics in human populations – described in this blog post (2020/11/07).

Alex is keen to share her research with policymakers and practitioners – including contributing to the recent ‘International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Common Eider Somateria m. mollissima and S. m. borealis’ – in addition to engaging the public (see this Twitter presentation). She is also currently a volunteer researcher for Conservation Evidence, and a student rep on the National Oceanography Centre’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and PhD Working Group.



Twitter: @alexnicolharper #TheNotSoCommonEider

A slide from Alex’s virtual speed talk entitled “Breeding Propensity versus Fertility in the Common Eider: A Need for Coordination Across the Boundaries Between Population Ecology and Conservation”, which won ‘Best Presentation with a  Conservation Application’ at the 2020 meeting of the North America Congress for Conservation Biology.