DPhil Candidate

Lincoln College

+44 (0) 1865 281 329



Research Interests

My current research interests include 1) how known threats influence avian behaviour, 2) marine conservation in the polar regions, 3) applied technology in ecological studies, and 4) employing citizen-scientists using Internet resources.

My current research, supervised by Dr Tom Hart, focuses on the phenology of Pygoscelis penguins in the Southern Ocean. By applying existing time-lapse camera technology to ecological studies, we hope to reveal patterns of behaviour year-round, which are difficult to obtain in remote regions. Using a series of cameras installed throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands, we aim to study breeding timing between colonies and between species to examine how threats to marine predators influence their phenology.

Utilizing an automated detection system developed by the Visual Geometry Group at Oxford, which automatically identifies penguin individuals within our images, we hope to create an autonomous and accurate method to speed up data extraction. In addition, we will be involving citizen-scientists in our data extraction process by allowing Internet users to click on penguins in our time-lapse images- www.penguinwatch.org.


Black C, Raya Rey A, Hart T (in review). Peeking into the bleak midwinter- investigating non-breeding strategies of penguins using a camera network. Oikos.

Black C, Southwell C, Emmerson L, Lunn D, Hart T (accepted). Time-lapse imagery of Adélie penguins reveals differential winter strategies and breeding site occupation. Ibis.

Black C, Collen B, Johnston D, Hart T (in press). Why huddle? Ecological drivers of chick aggregations in gentoo penguins across latitudes. Plos ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145676.

Black C (2015). Phenology of Pygoscelis penguins: A comprehensive review of the phenology of Pygoscelis penguins. Polar Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-015-1807-8.

Giraudeau M, Nolan P, Black C, Earl S, Hasegawa M, McGraw K (2014). Song characteristics track bill morphology along a gradient of urbanization in house finches (Haemorhous Mexicanus). Frontiers in Zoology, 11:83. DOI: 10.1186/s12983-014-0083-8.