Dr Tom Hart
Junior Research Fellow
For the latest blog:
My research centres on how to monitor penguins and other marine predators in difficult environments such as Antarctica. Many of the most important environments on the planet are too data deficient to understand global change and to permit effective management. I spend a lot of time developing tools and techniques to scale up monitoring and data gathering from these environments.
Population Genetics of penguins
I am carrying out population genetic and phylogeographic studies of penguins around Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic, using SNPsand sequence data. The aim of this project is to see how different species of penguin populations are structured around the Southern Ocean and how these populations have changed in the past in response to changing ice conditions.
Many of the most important environments on the planet are too data deficient to understand global change, direct human impact and to permit effective management. I spend a lot of time developing tools and techniques to scale up monitoring and data gathering from these environments.
Cameras, counts and citizen science
Monitoring animals in such an extreme climate is challenging. Many species spend much of their time at sea, and the environment they live in is both hostile and remote, making the visits required to monitor them, demanding and costly. For these reasons, the monitoring efforts for many penguin colonies in Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic islands have to date, been limited. However, by adapting existing camera technology and using time-lapse photography, we are trialling the development of a new monitoring array for the southern polar region.
You can see and participate in this research at www.penguinwatch.org
By monitoring remotely, we hope to be able to ask new questions about the response of Antarctic penguins to their changing world. By collaborating with tour operators we are trying to reach many more potential monitoring sites over the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands. It is possible to expand the current limited monitoring network to include a far greater coverage of species and network sites, in a cost effective manner.
By collaborating with tourist operators we are trying to reach many more potential monitoring sites over the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands. It is possible to expand the current limited monitoring network to include a far greater coverage of species and network sites, in a cost effective manner. I work closely with Oceanites' Antarctic Site Inventory and Heather Lynch at Stony Brook University.
Video 1 - Research Overview
Video 2 - Penguin Cam Timelapse
Video 3 - Placing Camera Traps
Publications Since 2010
- Freer, J. J., Mable, B. K., Clucas, G. V., Rogers, A. D., Polito, M. J., Dunn, M., Naveen, R., Levy, H. J. & Hart, T. Limited genetic differentiation among chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colonies in the Scotia Arc and Western Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology, doi: 10.1007/s00300-015-1711-2.
- du Preez, B., Hart, T., Loveridge, A. & Macdonald, D. W. (2015) The impact of risk on animal behaviour and habitat-transition probabilities. Animal Behaviour 100: 22-37.
- Clucas, G. V., Rogers, A. D., Emslie, S., Polito, M., Dunn, M. & Hart, T. (2014) A reversal of fortunes: climate change 'winners' and 'losers' in Antarctic Peninsula penguins.Scientific Reports, 4 doi:10.1038/srep05024.
- Turvey, S. T., Fernández-Secades, C., Nuñez-Miño, J. M., Hart, T., Matinez, P., Brocca, J. L. & Young, R. P. (2014) Is local ecological knowledge a useful conservation tool for small mammals in a Caribbean multicultural landscape? 169: 189–197. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.11.018
- Jessopp, M., Cronin, M. &Hart, T. (2013) Habitat-Mediated Dive Behavior in Free-Ranging Grey Seals PlosOne doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063720.
- Bagniewska, J. M., Hart, T., Harrington, L. A. (2013) Hidden Markov analysis describes dive patterns in semiaquatic animals Behavioral Ecology 24: 659-667 doi:10.1093/beheco/ars217.
- Polito, M. J., Clucas, G. V., Hart, T. & Trivelpiece, W. Z. (2012) A simplified method of determining the sex of Pygoscelis penguins using bill measurements. Marine Ornithology 40: 89–94.
- Turvey, S. T., Barrett, L. A., Hart, T., Collen, B., Yujiang, H., Lei, Z. & Xinqiao, Z. (2010) Spatial and temporal extinction dynamics in a freshwater cetacean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0584.
- Hart, T., Mann, R., Pettorelli, N., Coulson, T. & Trathan, P. N. (2010) Behavioural switching in a central place forager: patterns of diving behaviour in the Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus). Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-010-1428-2
- Raihani, N. & Hart, T. (2010) Free-riders promote free-riding in a real-world setting. Oikos. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18279.x
- Hart, T., Coulson, T. & Trathan, P. N. (2010) Time series analysis of archival tagging data: new approaches to larger data sets. Animal Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.12.033
- Turvey, S. T., Barrett, L. A., Lei, Z., Xinqiao, Z., Xianyan, W., Yadong, H., Yujiang, H., Kaiya, Z., Hart, T. & Ding, W. (2010) Forgetting the Yangtze freshwater megafauna: shifting baselines in Yangtze fishing communities, and local memory of extinct species. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01395.x