The PhD project

We know that shelduck migrate across our seas annually, moving between breeding, moulting, and non-breeding grounds, but there are currently insufficient data to accurately assess the impact that offshore wind farms (OWF) may have on shelduck as they migrate.

My PhD research (Jul 2021 – Feb 2026) will allow me to collect and analyse novel empirical data for shelduck, which will directly reduce the consenting uncertainties for future OWF developments within the UK, and will also benefit other consenting authorities more broadly in the North and Celtic Seas (i.e. the Dutch and Irish Governments).

You can see the extent of the offshore wind farm development in the UK on the 4C Offshore website.

Me: Ros Green

I’m a part-time PhD student studying at the University of Liverpool, whilst also continuing my work for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) as a Research Ecologist in the Wetland and Marine Research Team. I am a field ornithologist by trade, with over a decade of experience surveying, monitoring, catching, ringing, tagging and studying birds.

I’m a licensed bird ringing trainer with cannon-net and special methods endorsements. I love applied research, and hope to make the most of my PhD time to advance our knowledge of shelduck migration, and Anatidae migration more broadly.

The final Strangford Lough tagged #Shelduck has now migrated, taking a different route across the Irish Sea. He has likely been looking after a female & ducklings for the last 2 months, but now needs to moult. All tracks here: https://shelducks.co.uk/gps-tracking/ #phdlife @_BTO @SEG_UL


Farewell to the Wadden Sea & all its moulting #Shelduck. Our return migration is happening a bit earlier than theirs. It’s been a great week for understanding my #PhD study species better. #PhDLife ⁦@_amwphotos⁩ ⁦@RyanABurrell⁩ ⁦@LizzieGrayshon⁩


Bit of a day off today, exploring Lauwersmeer & reading wader colour-rings. Sad that it’s our last day…the Wadden Sea has been very impressive. @_amwphotos @LizzieGrayshon @RyanABurrell


We’ve had a brilliant day visiting @AllertBijleveld at @NIOZnieuws & discussing all things bird/mudflats. Then resighting wader colour-rings (as a break from #Shelduck) & meeting genuine Texel sheep!! #FriYay @LizzieGrayshon @RyanABurrell @_amwphotos


#Shelduck migration isn’t over until the last feather drops. This Tees tagged female has now moved from the Humber to the German Wadden Sea, making a small stop in Zwarte Haan to say hello to us. It could well have been one of the ducks in the photo! #DuckFollowedUs @NIOZnieuws


Another good day, this time scouting the western Wadden Sea with ⁦@markbirding⁩. Great to catch up with Mark & learn from local knowledge. Lots of feathers blown up the dyke too! Spot the peregrine. #phdlife ⁦@_amwphotos⁩ ⁦@LizzieGrayshon⁩ ⁦@RyanABurrell⁩


On a recent visit I had a conservative count of 4800 shelduck at Pyewipe on the #Humber. Some moulted feathers collected and on one more migration to @r_green24 to help with her research!

#FollowThoseDucks ✅… thoroughly achieved. 10,000+ #shelduck just in the 1km stretch of Wadden Sea we’ve checked. Awesome sight. #phdlife @_amwphotos⁩ ⁦@RyanABurrell⁩ ⁦@LizzieGrayshon⁩ ⁦@_BTO⁩ ⁦@cycletoworkday⁩


Had a great ferry trip over to the Hook of Holland, with wind farms visible the whole way. Now near Zwarte Haan on the Wadden Sea. Can’t wait to see 50,000+ #shelduck tomorrow!! #FollowThoseDucks ⁦@RyanABurrell⁩ ⁦@LizzieGrayshon⁩ ⁦@_amwphotos⁩


Let the Dutch #shelduck adventure begin! ⁦@StenaLine⁩ #phdlife #academictwitter #migration #FollowThoseDucks ⁦@SEG_UL⁩ ⁦@_BTO⁩ ⁦@_amwphotos⁩ ⁦@RyanABurrell⁩ ⁦@LizzieGrayshon⁩

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