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We are always looking to grow our team, so get in touch at if you are interested in collaboration

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The Team

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Dr. Nick Payne

Assistant Professor, School of Natural Sciences - Trinity College, Dublin

Dr Nicholas Payne is a marine biologist based in Dublin, Ireland. His group mostly explore how environmental variation regulates the distribution and behaviour of aquatic animals. Nick has studied a broad range of species – from sharks to cuttlefish – and objectives spanning biogeography to biomechanics. His team often uses novel technologies to record the movements and behaviour of wild animals, and is increasingly interested in how such approaches can be informative for understanding species distributions, and thus for managing and conserving our fisheries resources.

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Dr. Jacinta Kong

Postdoctoral Research & Teaching Fellow - Trinity College, Dublin

Jacinta is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow on a Science Foundation Ireland funded project awarded to Nick Payne (18/SIRG/5549). This project aims to use broad scale comparative datasets and in-situ field measurements of ectotherm thermal niches to investigate how temperature generates macroecological patterns. Specifically, Jacinta is interested in using models to investigate the mechanisms and evolutionary processes that generate these patterns. 

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Dr. Luke Cameron

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Trinity College, Dublin

Luke is an aquatic ecologist with a specific interest in the ecology and conservation of wide ranging and migratory fish species, including both elasmobranchs and diadromous species. Luke is currently working on ‘Shark Island’, a collaborative project between researchers at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), including Dr. Nicholas Payne and Dr. Andrew Jackson, and partners at the Marine Institute and Inland Fisheries Ireland. This project is aimed at enhancing sustainable shark ecotourism in Ireland, with key aspects including the establishment of a new formal partnership, Sharks le chéile (sharks together), that links shark and ray biologists, state agencies, and the Irish angling community to implement sustainable angling techniques, generate new shark/ray conservation monitoring tools, and encourage broader participation in shark and ray ecotourism in Ireland.

Lucy Harding

PhD Student - Trinity College, Dublin

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Lucy began her PhD on a Science Foundation Ireland-funded project in 2019. Her project is focused on linking behaviour and physiology to the thermal niches of fish. She will combine comparative analyses of large published datasets, tagging of fish in the wild, and  lab-based respirometry experiments with captive fishes.  She is co-supervised by Andrew Jackson and Ian Donohue.

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Haley Dolton

PhD Student - Trinity College, Dublin

Haley commences a PhD at Trinity College Dublin in 2019, with supervision from Nick Payne. She will use a variety of electronic tagging methods and modelling to explore the thermal biology of Ireland's large sharks, including basking and sixgill sharks. Haley did her undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes and then an MSc at Exeter University, researching the amazing basking sharks off the Isle of Man

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Jenny Bortoluzzi

PhD Student - Trinity College, Dublin

Jenny started her PhD in 2018, on a project focusing on the ecology of large-bodied migratory marine predators such as sharks, billfishes and whales. She will be using stable isotope analysis, tagging technologies and computer-based modelling methods to study the trophic and spatial ecology of these populations, how individuals within them may have varying strategies and how human interactions may have impacted them in the past, present and future.

Her primary supervisor is Andrew Jackson at TCD.

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Grace McNicholas

PhD Student - Trinity College, Dublin

Grace commenced her PhD in 2021 on a project exploring the ecology of Irish tunas. Grace's project is funded by a Marine Institute Cullen Fellowship, and will address the movements, foraging behaviour and physiology of several species of tuna. Grace's primary supervisor is Nicholas Payne (TCD) and secondary supervisors are Andrew Jackson (TCD) and Niall O'Maoileidigh (MI)

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