I have a particular interest in understanding what factors influence species’ success in cities and may contribute towards conserving biodiversity in a rapidly urbanising world. I also have a passion for ornithology and have been bird ringing for several years.

My PhD project aims to investigate how urbanisation influences the diet and reproductive success of blue tits throughout their annual cycle. Working in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, blue tit diet and condition will be investigated along an urban gradient from the centre of Glasgow to an oak woodland near the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE). DNA metabarcoding of faecal samples and subsequent bioinformatic approaches will elucidate the taxonomy of diet items, while morphometric data will be analysed to determine blue tit condition.

Prior to my PhD, I completed my BSc in Biological Sciences and my MSc in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology at Queen’s University Belfast. As part of my MSc, I investigated the impact of predation on breeding wader productivity on a reserve in Northern Ireland and developed a site-specific conservation action plan in collaboration with the RSPB.

http://www.conservationecology.org/rachel-mcconnell.html

https://sites.google.com/site/andreannajwelch/people