Nicole is currently a PhD student, working as part of the Marine Ecology group at MaREI. Her project focuses on acoustic monitoring of harbour porpoise in Irish waters and will feed into the conservation objectives of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Nicole graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology with Professional Studies. During this degree she undertook one year of work placement. The first 6 months of this placement were spent at the Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre Pieterburen, NL, where she worked as a seal husbandry volunteer and led an independent research project on the effects of environmental enrichment on grey seal pups. The remaining 6 months of placement were spent with Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute, Belfast, undertaking field-based water sampling, management of a network of oceanographic buoys and marine mammal surveys. She also undertook an honours project investigating the influence of tidal patterns on the behaviour of grey seals on an island breeding colony. This project was awarded highly commended in the 2017 Undergraduate awards.
Following this, Nicole then moved to Cork to study MSc Marine Biology at University College Cork, from which she graduated in 2018. Nicole’s masters research investigated the drivers of occurrence of harbour porpoise and dolphins in Broadhaven bay, Co. Mayo and assessed the effect of on-going construction activity. This work was undertaken using acoustic monitoring data collected as part of the long-term Broadhaven marine mammal monitoring project undertaken at MaREI.