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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Dr Gail Schofield


Lecturer in Aquatic Ecology

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8774
Room Number: 6.17, Fogg Building

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Climate and Conservation Challenges (BIO343)
  • Ecology (Field Module) (BIO123)
  • Essential Skills for Biologists (BIO100)
  • Research Methods and Communication I (BIO209)
  • Research Methods and Communication II (BIO309)
  • Project Skills in the Life Sciences (BIO603)
  • Form and Function in Biology (SEF031) - Module Organiser

Postgraduate Teaching

Marine Mammals and Turtles (BIO794P)


Research Interests:

I am a biologist with broad experience working with different types of organisations to monitor and conserve threatened wildlife, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and national parks, as a consultant for environmental agencies and policy makers in the Mediterranean, and through conducting scientific research at UK, Greek, and Australian universities.

My work primarily focuses on understanding the ecology of marine vertebrates to inform conservation actions at different scales. My research involves investigating the behavioural, population and movement ecology of marine wildlife at different scales across time and space, and elucidating associations with oceanographic and environmental parameters, including the effects of climate change. I primarily use sea turtles as my model species, due to their being ectotherms, with temperature affecting different life-history stages (from egg to adult) and strategies in various ways. In particular, I place strong emphasis on using my work to make practical suggestions to inform conservation management at local to regional scales, within and beyond protected areas, and along migratory corridors. I use a range of approaches, including established emerging technologies (including high resolution GPS tracking units and drones), traditional approaches (direct observations and photo-identification) and crossdisciplinary collaborations, for example with physical oceanographers, mathematicians and physicists to obtain novel insights on aspects of ecology that remain elusive, even today.

Information acquired through my research has led to the amendment of national park precautionary maritime legislation to properly reflect in-water use of the largest sea turtle breeding area in the Mediterranean, in addition to the publication of a landmark study on the migration corridors of flatback sea turtles in relation to the recently established commonwealth marine reserve network in Australia. I have also contributed to and provided guidelines to the Quality Status Report (QSR) for the Mediterranean on Biodiversity ecological objectives and related common indicators of marine vertebrates for IMAP, UNEP and RAC SPA, using the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp) to achieve the Good Environmental Status (GES) in the Mediterranean. 

Animal movement - Behavioural ecology – Population ecology – Science-based management – Conservation - Anthropogenic disturbance – Climate change

Latest research news

Sea turtle populations are recovering globally, but key information gaps remain


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