School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Ecology Research Students

Kelsey Potlock
Kelsey Potlock

Project description

I am a second-year MPhil student with the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES) at Newcastle University.

My thesis focused on investigating the impacts the development of an offshore wind farm has on three species of coastal odontocetes:

  • common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)
  • harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)

My research site currently encompasses the Blyth, Northumberland region where passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) devices, called C-PODs, are deployed.

From recordings on these devices, we can understand and examine the behaviours, temporal, spatial, inter-annual, and seasonal patterns of echolocating dolphins and porpoises.

This further allows us to examine site-usage and importance towards informing environmental managers for offshore development.

My dissertation explored the various methods of monitoring in order to best remedy data gaps for odontocetes around Blyth.

I also aimed to examine how Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) could best be improved for the post-Brexit United Kingdom through assessments and case studies of past EIAs.

Because of these areas, my dissertation strived to provide a start-to-finish view of environmental management techniques towards understanding species patterns in data deficient regions.


Whales, digital photography, GIS, behavioural ecology, necropsies, telemetry and travelling 


  • BS in Environmental Science (Biology) with departmental honours; minor in geospatial technologies (GIS)
  • BOEM Offshore Protected Species Observer Training
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques
  • Student Member on the Committee of Scientific Advisors at the Society for Marine Mammalogy