School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Ellen Barrowclift-Mahon
Ellen Barrowclift-Mahon

Project description

I'm looking at reproductive biology and feeding ecology of two data-deficient shark species. These are Mustelus spp and Squalus spp.

They're caught in artisanal, small-scale elasmobranch fisheries in Zanzibar, East Africa.

We've collected biological measurements and samples through monitoring of fisheries landing sites.

We can use data on reproductive biology to determine important life history parameters. We need these for regional stock assessment, including:

  • age and size at maturity
  • growth rate
  • fecundity

Diet and trophic ecology data is vital for ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management.

The research has involved employing various laboratory techniques including:

  • ageing using shark vertebrae
  • d15N and d13C stable isotope analysis
  • stomach content analysis

Genetic analyses have also been employed to confirm species identification. Many species within both of these genera are morphologically similar.


  • Barrowclift, E., Temple, A.J., Stead, S., Jiddawi, N.S., Berggren, P. Social, economic and trade characteristics of the elasmobranch fishery on Unguja Island, Zanzibar, East Africa. Marine Policy 2017, 83: 128-136.  


Scuba diving


  • BSc (Hons) Marine Biology
  • BSAC Sports Diver