Fiona Cummins

During my undergraduate studies at University College Dublin I pursued a joint Zoology and Cell Biology degree. For my final year research project I spent six weeks at the Welgevonden game reserve in South Africa studying the effect of elephant herd size and composition on herd behaviour. After graduating, I spent a year working in administration, following which I was part of the first cohort of students who undertook the MSc in Conservation Behaviour in GMIT.

For my MSc thesis I investigated the effect of dredging activity, particularly dumping, in Dublin Bay on harbour porpoise acoustic behaviour. Over the last two years I have gained experience in both research and commercial Marine Mammal Observation work with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. For my PhD research in the MFRC, I am continuing to study the harbour porpoise in Dublin Bay, using both visual and acoustic data to investigate their habitat use here and the effect of dredging and other anthropogenic activity on them. The outcomes of this research have the potential to directly inform future Management Plans of the bay and the Rockabill to Dalkey Special Area of Conservation and dredging campaigns elsewhere.

Project Title
The harbour porpoise in Dublin Bay: Assessing habitat use and the effect of anthropogenic activity.