About: Beatrice Downing

I’m a PhD researcher with the University of Exeter. I work with Dr Nick Royle, Professor Stuart Bearhop, Dr Dez Delahay and Dr Ruth Cromie (from WWT) to understand the social structure of Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Because I work in the UK, the geese I’m dealing with aren’t the sleek, migratory birds of North America but dumpy, resident geese that sit beside lakes waiting for visitors to feed them chips (NB: please don’t do this, it’s not good for them!). Canada geese are common and widespread so it is important to know what causes flocks to disperse, how far they tend to move and whether the groups are stable over time.

I use social network analysis to look at whether groups are cohesive and stable. Like all populations of all organisms, these geese carry microorganisms and parasites. I’m interested in using the social networks to understand how an infection might spread through the population.

When I’m not prostrating myself before the altar of SCIENCE, I’m commonly found exploring Cornwall and beyond on foot, by bike or in a pair of climbing shoes.

I also have a university-approved site and a LinkedIn profile. I’m a member of the British Ecological Society, the British Science Association and the European Wildlife Disease Association.

I’m contactable at bd249 <at symbol> exeter.ac.uk

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