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Ecology and Conservation

Dr Phil Doherty

Dr Phil Doherty

Lecturer in Marine Conservation Science

 The Farmhouse 


The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


My research centres around marine spatial ecology and threatened species conservation. I investigate movement patterns, fisheries landings, and visual censuses of marine vertebrates to identify areas of high occupancy and key life-history events, as well as overlap with putative threats. These data help underpin management strategies and create mitigation and protection measures for species of conservation concern.


  • 2017  PhD (University of Exeter)
  • 2011  MSc Biodiversity & Conservation (University of Exeter)
  • 2007  BSc (Hons) Marine Biology (Swansea University)


  • September 2022 - Present - Lecturer in Marine Conservation Science, University of Exeter
  • November 2018 - August 2022 - Post Doctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter
  • December 2020 - November 2021 - Research Scientist, Fishtek Marine
  • November 2017 - April 2018 - NERC Research Fellow, University of Exeter
  • October 2013 - June 2017 - PhD student at University of Exeter
  • January 2012 - September 2013 - Associate research fellow, University of Exeter        


Research group links

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Research interests

  • Shark ecology
  • Biotelemetry
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine vertebrate migration
  • Fisheries
  • Spatial ecology
  • Bycatch mitigation
  • Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS)

Research projects

- Protecting highly threatened sharks and rays in the coastal waters of the Republic of the Congo

- SharkGuard: Bycatch mitigation device to reduce incidental shark and ray catch in fisheries

- Movement ecology of basking sharks in the north-east Atlantic

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Journal articles

Witt M, Godley B, Bicknell A, Doherty P, Sheehan E (In Press). Assessing the impact of introduced infrastructure at sea with cameras: a case study for spatial scale, time and statistical power. Marine Environmental Research
Doherty PD, Baxter JM, Gell FR, Godley BJ, Graham RT, Hall G, Hall J, Hawkes LA, Henderson SM, Johnson L, et al (In Press). Long-term satellite tracking reveals variable seasonal migration strategies of basking sharks in the north-east Atlantic. Scientific Reports
Witt M, Hawkes L, Pikesley SK, Doherty P, Solandt J-L, Speedie C, Johnson L, Henderson S, Inger R (In Press). Predicting habitat suitability for basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) in UK waters using ensemble ecological niche modelling. Journal of Sea Research
Leung F, Doherty PD, Liu M, Metcalfe K, Godley B, Lee SY (In Press). Rise and Fall of an Avian Oasis: Tracking the Impacts of Land Use Change in a Key Coastal Wetland in the World's Largest Megalopolis.
Doherty P, Hawkes LA, Godley BJ, Witt M, Henderson S, Graham R, Hall J, Hall G, Speedie C, Johnson L, et al (In Press). Seasonal changes in basking shark vertical space-use in the north-east Atlantic. Marine Biology
Doherty PD, Baxter JM, Godley BJ, Graham RT, Hall G, Hall J, Hawkes LA, Henderson SM, Johnson L, Witt MJ, et al (In Press). Testing the boundaries: Seasonal residency and inter-annual site fidelity of basking sharks in a proposed marine protected area. Biological Conservation
Doherty PD, De Bruyne G, Moundzoho BD, Dilambaka E, Okondza GN, Atsango BC, Ngouembe A, Akendze TR, Parnell RJ, Cournarie M, et al (2023). Artisanal fisheries catch highlights hotspot for threatened sharks and rays in the <scp>Republic of the Congo</scp>. Conservation Science and Practice, 5(11). Abstract.
Casale P, Abitsi G, Agamboue PD, Augowet E, Bayet JP, Billes A, Bitsindou A, Collins T, Doherty PD, Faure FE, et al (2023). Conservation-relevant reproductive parameters from long-term tagging of two globally important sea turtle nesting aggregations in Central Africa. AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, 33(11), 1200-1217.  Author URL.
Parton KJ, Doherty PD, Parrish M, Shearer P, Myrick K, Shipley ON, Gallagher AJ (2023). Opportunistic camera surveys provide insight into discrete foraging behaviours in nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum). Environmental Biology of Fishes, 106(1), 19-30. Abstract.
Andrzejaczek S, Lucas TCD, Goodman MC, Hussey NE, Armstrong AJ, Carlisle A, Coffey DM, Gleiss AC, Huveneers C, Jacoby DMP, et al (2022). Diving into the vertical dimension of elasmobranch movement ecology. Sci Adv, 8(33). Abstract.  Author URL.
Doherty PD, Enever R, Omeyer LCM, Tivenan L, Course G, Pasco G, Thomas D, Sullivan B, Kibel B, Kibel P, et al (2022). Efficacy of a novel shark bycatch mitigation device in a tuna longline fishery. Current Biology, 32(22), R1260-R1261. Abstract.
Metcalfe K, White L, Lee ME, Fay JM, Abitsi G, Parnell RJ, Smith RJ, Agamboue PD, Bayet JP, Mve Beh JH, et al (2022). Fulfilling global marine commitments; lessons learned from Gabon. Conservation Letters, 15(3). Abstract.
Conners MG, Sisson NB, Agamboue PD, Atkinson PW, Baylis AMM, Benson SR, Block BA, Bograd SJ, Bordino P, Bowen WD, et al (2022). Mismatches in scale between highly mobile marine megafauna and marine protected areas. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9
Enever R, Doherty PD, Ashworth J, Duffy M, Kibel P, Parker M, Stewart BD, Godley BJ (2022). Scallop potting with lights: a novel, low impact method for catching European king scallop (Pecten maximus). Fisheries Research, 252
Doherty PD, Atsango BC, Ngassiki G, Ngouembe A, Bréheret N, Chauvet E, Godley BJ, Machin L, Moundzoho BD, Parnell RJ, et al (2021). Threats of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing to biodiversity and food security in the Republic of the Congo. Conserv Biol, 35(5), 1463-1472. Abstract.  Author URL.
Jonsen ID, Patterson TA, Costa DP, Doherty PD, Godley BJ, Grecian WJ, Guinet C, Hoenner X, Kienle SS, Robison PW, et al (2020). A continuous-time state-space model for rapid quality-control of Argos. locations from animal-borne tags. Mov Ecol, 8 Abstract.  Author URL.
Bielli A, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Doherty PD, Godley BJ, Ortiz C, Pasara A, Wang JH, Mangel JC (2020). An illuminating idea to reduce bycatch in the Peruvian small-scale gillnet fishery. Biological Conservation, 241, 108277-108277.
Omeyer LCM, Doherty PD, Dolman S, Enever R, Reese A, Tregenza N, Williams R, Godley BJ (2020). Assessing the Effects of Banana Pingers as a Bycatch Mitigation Device for Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Frontiers in Marine Science, 7
Bielli A, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Doherty PD, Godley BJ, Wang JH, Mangel JC (2020). Response to “Design issues adumbrate conclusions on LED-mediated bycatch risk reduction of cetaceans and turtles in fishing nets: a comment on Bielli et al. (2020)”. Biological Conservation, 243
Doherty PD, Broderick AC, Godley BJ, Hart KA, Phillips Q, Sanghera A, Stringell TB, Walker JT, Richardson PB (2020). Spatial Ecology of Sub-Adult Green Turtles in Coastal Waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands: Implications for Conservation Management. Frontiers in Marine Science, 7
Lieber L, Hall G, Hall J, Berrow S, Johnston E, Gubili C, Sarginson J, Francis M, Duffy C, Wintner SP, et al (2020). Spatio-temporal genetic tagging of a cosmopolitan planktivorous shark provides insight to gene flow, temporal variation and site-specific re-encounters. Scientific Reports, 10(1). Abstract.
Metcalfe K, Bréheret N, Bal G, Chauvet E, Doherty PD, Formia A, Girard A, Mavoungou J-G, Parnell RJ, Pikesley SK, et al (2020). Tracking foraging green turtles in the Republic of the Congo: insights into spatial ecology from a data poor region. Oryx, 54(3), 299-306. Abstract.
Trew BT, Grantham HS, Barrientos C, Collins T, Doherty PD, Formia A, Godley BJ, Maxwell SM, Parnell RJ, Pikesley SK, et al (2019). Using Cumulative Impact Mapping to Prioritize Marine Conservation Efforts in Equatorial Guinea. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6
Alfaro-Shigueto J, Mangel JC, Darquea J, Donoso M, Baquero A, Doherty PD, Godley BJ (2018). Untangling the impacts of nets in the southeastern Pacific: Rapid assessment of marine turtle bycatch to set conservation priorities in small-scale fisheries. FISHERIES RESEARCH, 206, 185-192.  Author URL.
Dawson TM, Formia A, Agamboué PD, Asseko GM, Boussamba F, Cardiec F, Chartrain E, Doherty PD, Fay JM, Godley BJ, et al (2017). Informing Marine Protected Area Designation and Management for Nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles Using Satellite Tracking. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4
Doherty PD, Alfaro-Shigueto J, Hodgson DJ, Mangel JC, Witt MJ, Godley BJ (2014). Big catch, little sharks: Insight into Peruvian small-scale longline fisheries. Ecology and Evolution, 4(12), 2375-2383. Abstract.


Bicknell A, Turner R, Metcalfe K, Doherty P, Callow M, Witt M (2016). Field manual for socio-economic, fisheries & marine vertebrate surveys in Myanmar.
Birth F, Pikesley S, Bicknell A, Callow M, Doherty P, Exeter O, Kerry C, Metcalfe K, Turner R, Witt M, et al (2016). Myanmar Marine Biodiversity Atlas.

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Office Hours:

Term-time office hours:

Wednesday 14:00-15:00

Friday 10:00-11:00

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