We have research links with like-minded specialists throughout the world, but especially in Denmark, The Netherlands, Mexico and Morocco. The deep-rooted conservation interests of our staff means that they have also travelled extensively around the World, joining expeditions both on land and at sea and volunteering their services in research projects, as well as simply 'going to see'.
ECON have worked intensively in Denmark and the Netherlands in the past, with our Director Dr Martin Perrow being employed as a Research Scientist both within the Department of Freshwater Ecology at the National Environmental Research Institute (NERI), as well as the Danish Institute for Fisheries Research. At NERI, as well as undertaking and assisting with cutting-edge research on shallow lake trophic interactions led by Prof Erik Jeppesen, Martin also had the responsibility of researching the potential use of beam trawling for use in the Danish lake fish monitoring programme alongside the standard use of multi-mesh gill nets. The research involved working in the Netherlands with Dr Eddy Lammens in the large, shallow polder lakes.
Martin and ECON then went on to work for the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat in Lelystad, undertaking research on the abundance and distribution of fishes in a large, restored lake. This included the novel approach of conducting point-abundance sampling by electric fishing during the hours of darkness, which provided a unique insight into the behavioural ecology of a number of familiar and less well known species.
During this period, we hosted a number of (then) young research scientists from a number of countries including Denmark, Mexico and Uruguay for periods of days to many months. As well as conducting their own research, including writing up previously gathered data, most became integrated within the ECON team, furthering their experiences of sampling and analytical techniques. These collaborations led to a number of joint publications, most notably with Dr Luis Zambrano now of UNAM in Mexico and Dr Christian Skov now at the University of Aarhus.
Staff members have assisted with a number of research projects overseas. For example, Lorraine Chivers has tracked breeding Black-legged Kittiwake in Alaska and Gentoo and Southern Rockhopper Penguins in the Falklands. Andrew Green has joined expeditions to Morocco to search for wintering Lesser Black-backed Gulls colour-ringed whilst on breeding grounds in his native Suffolk. Similarly, he has recently returned from a trip to capture and ring the Atlas Flycatcher. Eleanor Skeate and Martin Perrow have previously assisted with photo-identification of Sperm Whale in the Azores, whilst Richard Berridge took part in an expedition to understand more about Snow Leopard in northern India.
Martin, Eleanor and Richard have also travelled to many of the World's Oceans looking for cetaceans, seals and seabirds. This has included trips to the Antarctic and the Falklands, Baja California and the Sea of Cortez, Sri Lanka, Madeira and the Azores and the Caribbean. Some of their notable findings, such as encountering Emperor Penguins on pack ice at sea have been published as articles and photographs in the popular literature.
As a complement to his work at ECON, and demonstrating his field identification skills and ability to communicate, Martin is also a popular leader of natural history tours for several well-known companies. The number of countries he has worked in, and thus the biomes, habitats and taxonomic groups he is familiar with is considerable.
As a team, we are always looking to collaborate with other organisations and individuals in other countries to further the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources and promote sustainable development.