Thursday 16th March – Gulls & Seabirds – Tracking Studies

speaker Dr Viola Ross-Smith

Viola Ross-Smith is  BTO’s Science Communications Manager, based in Thetford, Norfolk. She is responsible for promoting BTO science through magazines, web articles, and public talks and is one of BTO’s chief tweeters. Viola began working on gulls more than 10 years ago, when she took up a PhD at Cardiff University which focussed on the Lesser Black-backed Gulls breeding on Flat Holm Island. She followed this with a 5-year stint as a research ecologist in BTO’s Wetland and Marine Team. Her work involved GPS tagging Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls at various colonies, including  Skokholm Island. Although no longer working as a full-time scientist, Viola helps coordinate gull ringing on Flat Holm Island, and is still working on scientific studies in her spare time, including a project tracking Storm Petrels. She is also dedicated to improving gulls’ public image, especially during the summer months when these birds get a lot of bad press, by explaining the science behind their behaviour and putting calls for control measures in a conservation context. Although she is a ‘gull person’, Viola also loves other birds, and is a keen bird ringer and general wildlife enthusiast.

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