Megan completed her BSc (Honours) in Applied Science (Marine Environment) at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in 2017. During her Honours, Megan won a Women Divers Scholarship which allowed her to complete field work on Rose Atoll (in collaboration with the US Fish & Wildlife Service in American Samoa) and Bedout Island (in collaboration with the WA Dept of Biodiversity). What an Honours project! Not surprisingly, she enjoyed the experience so much, she’s decided to complete her PhD research here as well.
Megan’s PhD project will explore the intricate relationship between seabirds and their terrestrial habitats, with a focus on the Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) that breed on Lord Howe Island. This means that Megan is fortunate to continue her Honours trend of undertaking fieldwork on remote islands! One of her thesis chapters was published in February 2021 which looked at the deposition of ingested plastics by birds in their breeding colonies, and her three remaining chapters will be published in 2022. Megan won a prestigious Association of Commonwealth Universities Blue Charter Fellowship and in 2019 travelled to the University of the Highlands and Islands in Thurso, Scotland to work on developing a method to quantify plastics in Northern Gannet nests. The paper associated with this project was published in August 2021.
Throughout 2021, Megan has taken part in several science communication and outreach activities including Science Unfiltered, an honest and raw discussion on the impact of eco-grief at Hobart’s Beaker St Festival, a second appearance on the Ocean Protect Podcast, presenting at two international conferences: World Seabird Conference and The Geological Society’s Plastics in the Environment conference, as well as being the invited speaker at the Science and Engineering Investigation Awards Night (Sept 2021).