Dr Lucy Garrett BSc, MSc, PhD, ASHEA

Dr Lucy Garrett

School of Biosciences
Lecturer Animal Ecology and Conservation

Dr Lucy Garrett is a lecture in Animal Ecology and Conservation and is the lead for the Birmingham International Academy Foundation Year for the medical, life and geo sciences pathways. She also teaches on various undergraduate modules. Her research focuses on animal behaviour and conservation which takes a multidisciplinary approach combining genetics, animal movement and the application of social networks.


  • BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of East Anglia, Norwich
  • MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia, Norwich
  • PhD, Seabird social and genetic networks, University of Birmingham


Having studied Ecology at UEA, Dr Garrett’s passion for animal conservation led her to undertake a Masters in Applied Ecology and Conservation. Her research focused on a small passerine recovery programme in Mauritius that examined the competition between the then Critically Endangered Mauritius Fody and the introduced Madagascar Fody. Subsequently Dr Garrett perused a career in field-based conservation research, where she was the coordinator of the Mauritius Fody recovery programme for the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

During this time the species was downlisted to Endangered following a successful translocation project. She also undertook research in New Zealand, working as a Biodiversity Ranger for the Government Department of Conservation (DOC) where she worked on the Critically Endangered Orange-fronted Parakeet and Kakapo. Dr Garrett went on to work in UK environmental consultancy specializing in ecosystem services and cost-benefit analysis that aim to account for our natural resources in sustainable development and decision making.

Her PhD research, undertaken at the University of Birmingham through NERC CENTA doctoral training partnership, focused on a colonial seabird that breeds on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. Her work took a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the ecology and population trends of the sooty tern, a small seabird that breeds in huge numbers on the island.


Dr Lucy Garrett teaches on a range of foundation year and undergraduate modules within animal biology and behavior and molecular and cellular biology as well as supervising undergraduate projects.

  • BIO240 Communication and Skills in Biosciences
  • BIO176 First Year Skills
  • BIO397 Living in Groups
  • BIA Living Organisms
  • BIA Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • BIA Advanced Study Skills in Biological Sciences


Dr Garrett’s expertise center around animal behavior and sociality, conservation ecology, applied conservation and invasive species management.

Ongoing collaborative research with the Army Ornithological Society (AOS) and the Ascension Island Government Conservation and Fisheries Department focuses on understanding the population dynamics of the sooty tern population on Ascension Island. In addition she also collaborates with Sheffield University NERC Bimolecular Analysis Facility to explore population genetic structure. For the social aspects of coloniality she collaborates with staff of the Department of Collective Behavior, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Konstanz, Germany.

Other activities

Public engagement

  • British Ecological Society (BES) Women in Science Mentor (2016 –2017)
  • Assistant Producer on the Engaging Research NERC training course, The Open University (2017)
  • Brilliant Club Tutor (Jan-May 2015)

Membership to professional bodies

  • The British Ornithologists Union (BOU), Seabirds.net, The European Society for Evolutionary Ecology (ESEB)
  • Peer reviewer: Ibis

Diversity and inclusion

Natural history

  • Scientific taxidermist and advocate of the benefits of natural collections for advancing science, The Natural History Museum, 2001 – present.


  • Printmaker: Exhibitor of art work at the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition at the Mall galleries 2012, 2013, 2014. Exhibitor at the BTO Annual conference: 2015-2017.
  • Artwork used on the front cover of: Ascension Island Government (2014). Ascension Conservation Quarterly, 47: Jul-Sept 2014. http://www.ascension-island.gov.ac/government/conservation/library-publications/quarterly-newsletter/


Garrett, LJH, JP Myatt, JP Sadler, DA Dawson, H Hipperson, JK Colbourne, RC Dickey, SB Weber, SJ Reynolds (2019): Spatio-temporal processes drive fine-scale genetic structure in an otherwise panmictic seabird population. In submission process with Scientific Reports.

Garrett, LJH, DA Dawson, GJ Horsburgh, SJ Reynolds (2017): A multiplex marker set for microsatellite typing and sexing of sooty terns Onychoprion fuscatus. BMC Research Notes 10: 756 doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-3084-9.

Garrett, LJH, JP Myatt, JP Sadler, JK Colbourne, D Farine, SJ Reynolds (2018):  Friends with benefits: the importance of chick sociality for survivorship in a precocial seabird. 14th International Seabird Group Conference, Liverpool, UK. 3-6th Sept 2018, Conference Program Book, pp28; BOU 2018 Twitter Conference 20th-21st Nov; and BES Annual Meeting, Birmingham 16-19th Dec, Scientific Programme Book pp68.

Garrett, LJH, JP Myatt, JP Sadler, JK Colbourne, SJ Reynolds (2015): Assessing the significance of social networks in a large colony of Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus on Ascension Island, South Atlantic. 2nd World Seabird Conference, Seabirds: Global Ocean Sentinels Abstract Book pp110.

Catchpole, F and Garrett, L. (2015). Animal social networks and their application to a seabird island. The Scholar, 1 (3): 13-14.

Cristinacce, A, LJH Garrett, RE Cole, RVV Tatayah, CG Jones (2010): Nesting success of a managed population of Mauritius Fodies marooned on a partially restored islet. Bird Conservation International 20: 375-381.

Garrett, LJH (2009): Field Work Manual: The Mauritius Fody. The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, Unpublished guide

Garrett, LJH, CG Jones, A Cristinacce, DJ Bell (2007):  Competition or co-existence of reintroduced, critically endangered Mauritius Fodies and invasive Madagascar Fodies in lowland Mauritius? Biological Conservation 140: 19-28.

View all publications in research portal