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Jones esther   2

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  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2019)
  • PgCLTHE (2018 – 2020)
    University of South Wales
    Currently undertaking
  • ILM award (2017)
    Passport to Research Futures, Institute of Leadership & Management
  • MRes Environmental Biology (2009 – 2010)
    University of St Andrews and University of Dundee
    Thesis: ‘A state-space approach to estimate grey seal pup production’
  • BSc (Hons) Astrophysics (1997-2001)
    Cardiff University
    Thesis: ‘Forbidden line (III+) spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei’


On the interfaces of ecology, statistics, and geography, my research focuses on analysing spatial and temporal patterns to understand where and why animals live in a habitat and the effects of anthropogenic impacts. Understanding the likely effects of changing environmental conditions on species distributions are required for wildlife conservation efforts and spatial planning. Automating and optimising R code with GIS software for reproducible research, I use density estimation, habitat selection, map comparison, and Bayesian approaches to quantify anthropogenic impacts such as marine renewable developments and shipping on marine mammals and seabirds, which have used in spatial planning for conservation efforts and commercial objectives.



I currently teach across three undergraduate and postgraduate courses at USW, which are BSc Natural History, MSc Wildlife Conservation & Management, and MSc Hazard & Disaster Management.

Module leader

  • GE1S008 Observational Field Work
  • GE2S014 GIS for Wildlife Conservation Management
  • GE2S015 Natural History Field Course
  • GE4S001 Tropical Environmental Monitoring
  • GE4S003 Applied Geospatial Analysis

Module contributor

  • GE1S010 Natural History
  • GE2S008 Biodiversity & Biogeography
  • GE2S017 Research Methods in Natural History
  • BI3D104 BSc Project
  • ES4S011 European Field Expedition
  • ES4S012 Remote Sensing for the Environment
  • ES4H001 Environmental Management & Legislation
  • ES4T001 MSc Project

Project supervision

Current students

  • Christina Haeney
    Co-supervised with Dr David Lee (DoS), Dr Elke Scheibler, Dr Bradley Welch (Beacons National Park)
    MRes thesis (KESS2 funded) ‘Landscape suitability assessment reintroducing black grouse to the Brecon Beacons National Park and environs’.
  • Willow West
    Co-supervised with Dr David Lee (DoS), Dr Elke Scheibler & Dr Bradley Welch (Beacons National Park)
    MRes thesis (KESS2 funded) ‘Landscape use and suitability for red grouse and hen harriers in the Brecon Beacons National Park and environs’.
  • Dionne Jenkins
    Co-supervised with Dr David Lee, and Dr Andrew Hoodless, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust
    MSc thesis ‘Breeding display of Eurasian Woodcock: implications for survey interpretation’
  • Chelsea Brydon
    MSc thesis ‘The Future of Marine Protected Areas: Are dynamic MPAs more successful at protecting marine mammal species?’
  • Jodie Pullen
    MSc thesis ‘Assessing the distribution of marine anthropogenic litter around the UK coastline’
  • Maya Hudej
    Co-supervised with Dr Anthony Caravaggi, and Dr Jenny Macpherson, Vincent Wildlife Trust
    MSc thesis ‘Spatial ecology and site occupancy of translocated pine martens (Martes martes) in Wales’
  • Eleri Thomas
    BSc thesis ‘Using hyperspectral imagery for tree species delineation in urban ecological studies’
  • Katie Harris
    Co-supervised with Dr David Lee
    BSc thesis ‘Investigating temporal patterns in bird communities in a dry lowland forest in Mexico’
  • Gregory Bessant
    Co-supervised with Dr Amy Grass
    BSc thesis ‘Bumblebee coastal greenland management plans’
  • Verity Watkins
    BSc thesis ‘Brachycephalic health defects in pedigree dogs’
  • James Walker
    BSc thesis ‘Entanglement of marine mammals and seabirds in the marine environment’
  • Ayesha Robinson
    BSc thesis ‘Impacts of marine pollution for food security’
  • Chloe Lake
    BSc thesis ‘Implications of tag size in biologging – which species benefits from downsizing most?’
  • Lydia McCarthy
    BSc thesis ‘Implications of tag size in biologging – larger tags, more results?’


  • Rowell Bingham
    Co-supervised with Dr Malcolm Thomas
    BSc thesis ‘The abundance and composition of shoreline litter on Malapascua Island, the Philippines: approaches to the solid waste problem’
  • Joseph Oakley
    Co-supervised with Dr Malcolm Thomas
    BSc thesis ‘Impacts of extreme seasonality due to climate change on primate populations in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve’
  • Dylan Owen
    MSc thesis ‘Analysing the spatial and temporal characteristics of home ranges within bottlenose dolphins of the Marianas Archipelago’
  • Priyanka Sharma
    MSc thesis ‘Assessing the distribution of snow leopards over a large spatial scale’
  • Loren Freslaud
    MSc thesis ‘Distribution of coastal dolphins off the southern Israeli coast in relation to local anthropogenic activities’
    Recipient of the Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Award
  • Elinor Lewis
    Co-supervised with Dr Amy Grass
    MSc thesis ‘Investigating macroinvertebrate assemblages in multiple welsh rivers above and below damming systems’


  1. Jones, E.L., Hastie, G.D., Smout, S.C., Onoufriou, J., Merchant, N.D., Brookes, K.L. & Thompson, D. (2018) Corrigendum to Seals and shipping: quantifying population risk and individual exposure to vessel noise. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54, 6, 1930-1940, doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13302
  2. James, M., Mendo, T., Jones, E.L., Orr, K., McKnight, A. & Thompson, J. (2018) AIS data to inform small scale fisheries management and marine spatial planning. Marine Policy, 91, 113-201. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2018.02.012
  3. Hanson, N.N., Jones, E.L. & Harris, R. (2018) Multi-decadal and ontogenetic trophic shifts inferred from stable isotope ratios of pinniped teeth, Oikos, 127, 1, 134-146, doi:10.1111/oik.04441
  4. Russell, D.J.F., Jones, E.L. & Morris, C. (2017) Updated seal usage maps: The estimated at-sea distribution of grey and harbour seals. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, 25, 8, Marine Scotland, doi:10.7489/2027-1
  5. Jones, E.L., Hastie, G.D., Smout, S.C., Onoufriou, J., Merchant, N.D., Brookes, K.L. & Thompson, D. (2017) Seals and shipping: quantifying population risk and individual exposure to vessel noise. Journal of Applied Ecology, 54, 6, 1930-1940, doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12911
  6. Jones, E.L., Sparling, C.E., McConnell, B.J., Morris, C.D. & Smout, S.C. (2017) Fine-scale harbour seal usage for informed marine spatial planning. Scientific Reports, 7, 11581, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11174-4
  7. Jones, E.L., Smout, S.C., Russell, D.J.F., Pinn, E. & McConnell, B.J. (2017) Review of analytical approaches for identifying usage and foraging areas at sea for harbour seals, 602, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.
  8. Jones, E.L. & Russell, D.J.F. (2017) Updated grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) usage maps in the North Sea. OESEA-15-65, Department of Energy and Climate Change.
  9. Jones, E.L., Smout, S.C., Blight, C.J., Sparling, C.E. & McConnell, B.J. (2016) Fine-scale harbour seal at-sea usage around Orkney and the North coast of Scotland. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, 27, 7, Marine Scotland. doi:10.7489/1876-1
  10. Russell, D.J.F., Hastie, G.D., Thompson, D., Janik, V.M., Hammond, P.S., Scott-Hayward, L.A.S., Matthiopoulos, J., Jones, E.L. & McConnell, B.J. (2016) Avoidance of wind farms by harbour seals is limited to pile driving activities. Journal of Applied Ecology, 53, 6, 1642-1652, doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12678
  11. Jones, E.L., Rendell, L.E., Pirotta, E. & Long, J.A. (2016) Novel application of a quantitative spatial comparison tool to species distribution data. Ecological Indicators, 70, 67-76, doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.05.051
  12. Jones, E.L., Morris, C.D., Smout, S.C. & McConnell, B.J. (2016) Population scaling in 5 km x 5 km grey and harbour seal usage maps. Note to Scottish Government MMSS/002/15. Marine Scotland.
  13. Onoufriou, J., Jones, E.L., Hastie, G.D. & Thompson, D. (2016) Investigations into the interactions between harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) and vessels in the inner Moray Firth. Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science, 24, 74, Marine Scotland, doi:10.7489/1805-1
  14. Russell, D.J.F., McClintock, B.T., Matthiopoulos, J., Thompson, P., Thompson, D., Hammond, P.S., Jones, E.L., MacKenzie, M., Moss, S. & McConnell, B.J. (2015) Intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of activity budgets in sympatric grey and harbour seals. Oikos, 124, 11, 1462-1472, doi:10.1111/oik.01810
  15. Huon, M., Jones, E.L., Matthiopoulos, J., McConnell, B.J., Caurant, F. & Vincent, C. (2015) Habitat selection of gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) in a marine protected area in France. Journal of Wildlife Management, 79, 7, 1091-1100, doi:10.1002/jwmg.929
  16. Jones, E.L., McConnell, B.J., Smout, S.C., Hammond, P.S., Duck, C.D., Morris, C.D., Thompson, D., Russell, D.J.F., Vincent, C., Cronin, M., Sharples, R.J. & Matthiopoulos, J. (2015) Patterns of space use in sympatric marine colonial predators reveals scales of spatial partitioning. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 534, 235-249, doi: 10.3354/meps11370
  17. Jones, E.L., Smout, S.C., Morris, C.D. & McConnell, B.J. (2015) Determine data sparse regions. Report to Marine Scotland MMSS/001/11 MR 5.1. Marine Scotland.
  18. Jones, E.L., Smout, S.C. & McConnell, B.J. (2015) Determine environmental covariates for usage preference around the UK. Report to Marine Scotland MMSS/001/11 MR 5.1.6. Marine Scotland.
  19. Jones, E.L., Onoufriou, J., Thompson, D. & Smout, S.C. (2015) Examining the distribution of observed carcasses to identify biological and oceanographic patterns and distribution of potential causes to assess the patterns of risk associated with unexplained seal deaths. Report to Scottish Government, no. USD 4, University of St Andrews.
  20. Jones, E.L., McConnell, B.J., Sparling, C.E. & Matthiopoulos, J. (2015) Produce, publish and maintain seal usage maps with confidence intervals. Report to Marine Scotland MMSS/001/11 MR 5.1. Marine Scotland, doi:10.7489/1672-1
  21. Jones, E.L., Smout, S.C. & McConnell, B.J. (2015) Review the extent of how new survey data affect usage estimates. Report to Marine Scotland MMSS/001/11 MR 5.1. Marine Scotland.
  22. Jones, E.L. & Matthiopoulos, J. (2013) Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm Project One: Environmental Statement Volume 5 – Offshore Annexes. Smart Wind Limited.
  23. Sparling, C.E., Russell, D.J.F., Jones, E.L., Grellier, K., Lonergan, M., McConnell, B.J., Matthiopoulos, J. & Thompson, D. (2012) Baseline Seal Information for the FTWODG Area. SMRUL-FDG-2012-0 to FTOWDG. SMRU Consulting.
  24. Jones, E.L., McConnell, B.J., Duck, C.D., Morris, C.D., Hammond, P.S. & Russell, D.J.F. (2012) Marine distribution of grey & harbour seals around the UK. Special Committee on Seals (12/06). Sea Mammal Research Unit.
  25. Jones, E.L. & Matthiopoulos, J. (2011) Grey seal usage maps for MORL/BOWL developments – Phase 2 delivery. SMRU Consulting.
  26. Russell, D.J.F., Jones, E.L., Matthiopoulos, J., Duck, C.D., Morris, C.D. & McConnell, B.J. (2011) SMRU seal telemetry data holdings. Special Committee on Seals. Sea Mammal Research Unit.


  • Member of the Royal Statistical Society, International Biologging Society, British Ecological Society, The International Environmetrics Society, and the Institute of Leadership and Management.


  • Athena SWAN champion for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science
  • Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Research into Environmental and Ecological Research (CREEM), University of St Andrews


  • NRN LCEE Returning Fellow
  • PI for CES RIS project* ‘Characterising biodiversity and ecosystem flows for important coastal habitats’



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