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James M Booty

James Booty
James M Booty

Email: J.Booty@uea.ac.uk | LinkedIn profile

Academic profile
I studied at the University of East Anglia gaining a BSc with First Class Honours in Environmental Sciences, graduating in 2012/13. My dissertation explored the potential for using artificial novel habitats as mitigation for the loss rocky intertidal coastline in the UK. This was done in a practical sense; designing and installing compensatory habitat on existing sea defences and monitoring their success.

Since then I have worked full time as a consultant ecologist, working towards a specialism in ornithology, though undertaking a wide range of ecological surveys and designing site specific mitigation and enhancement strategies.

My research interests are broad, spanning from habitat creation and mitigation to intertidal sedimentology, and usually with a focus upon effects on community ecology and biodiversity. A passion for birdlife, as well as most elements of british fauna, has always driven my passion for expanding human knowledge with the aim of conservation.

In a voluntary capacity I have assisted with two PhD projects, both based at the UEA. These were exploring the influence of macrofauna on intertidal sediment stability and biogeochemical properties and the macroecological distribution of avian functional diversity.

Current research
My current research is into the effects of wading birds upon the sediment stability of intertidal mudflats. This explores trophic cascade effects caused by predation upon macrofauna, and subsequent erosion properties of sediment due to altered grazing pressure upon biofilms. Direct effects of bioturbation are also investigated.  

The stability of these environments is important for the ecosystem services which they provide, including coastal protection by flood control and carbon sequestration within sediments. It has been suggested that foraging effects may significantly influence sediment stability and flow (Daborn et al, 1993). My research intends to build upon such theories using methods of which no evidence has been found within the UK to date; measuring nutrient fluxes, productivity and sediment cohesion within in-situ plots both exclosed from and exposed to bird activity.

Research group
Supervisory team: Dr Trevor Tolhurst (UEA), Dr Richard Davies (UEA), Prof Graham Underwood (Essex University).
Marine Knowledge Exchange Network