School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Ibrahim Alfarwi
Ibrahim Alfarwi

Project description

I am a PhD research student. I am working with Dr Richard Bevan and Dr Chris Redfern on investigating the effect of breeding large gulls on roseate terns in a mixed-species seabird colony.

Roseate terns are Britain’s rarest breeding seabird. The last persistent colony breed is on Coquet Island, an RSPB reserve.

In order to protect this species, their natural predators (herring gull and lesser black-backed gull) have been managed and controlled.

However, in order to maintain natural biodiversity on the island, a small population of large gulls is required. 2014 was the first year of an on-going research project to determine the effect breeding large gulls may have on the other species on the island.

A huge amount of preliminary data has been collected through direct observation, camera work and pellet samples. We are beginning to develop an understanding of the relationship breeding large gulls have with the seabird assemblage on Coquet Island, although analysis is not yet complete.

Continued research will provide the necessary understanding to determine whether a breeding population of large gulls would be viable on Coquet Island without posing an unacceptable level of threat to the roseate tern colony.


I am interested in understanding the ecology and behaviour of birds, particularly seabirds’ predation ecology using remote monitoring technology. Currently, I am using DNA barcoding tools to analyse the predator’s diet.


  • MSc in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management
  • BSc (Hons) Biology - Ecology