Academic Bio

I graduated with a B.A. (Hons) 2.1 in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 2012 having specialised in Zoology. Following this, I worked as a Research Assistant in Cambridge’s Zoology Department. I assisted with a wide range of projects, including studies on anti-predator defences in moths and provisioning behaviour and taste perception in birds. I also worked as an Ecological Consultant for a local organisation and volunteered for several conservation projects and wildlife organisations both in Britain and abroad.

In 2013/14 I studied for a M.Sc. in Species Identification and Survey Skills at the University of Reading, for which I received a Distinction. As part of my course I undertook a research project with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), studying the impact of western marsh harriers Circus aeruginosus on breeding northern lapwings Vanellus vanellus in the Norfolk Broads.

After completing my M.Sc, I set up a project in Galápagos studying the impacts of an introduced bird species, and a few months later began my Ph.D. in road ecology. After completing my Ph.D. in 2020, I was offered a 3-year Research Associate position, working with policy-makers in Galápagos to support their ambition of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Publications

Cooke, S. C., Balmford, A., Donald, P. F., Newson, S. E. and Johnston, A. Roads as a contributor to landscape-scale variation in bird communities. Nature Communications 11: 3125. I also wrote an article accompanying this paper in The Conversation and published a 5-minute video explaining the highlights.

Cooke, S. C., Balmford, A., Johnston, A., Newson, S. E. and Donald, P. F. 2020. Variation in abundances of common bird species associated with roads. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57(7): 1271-1282.

MacLeod, A., Cooke, S. C. and Trillmich, F. 2020. The spatial ecology of invasive feral cats Felis catus on San Cristóbal, Galápagos: first insights from GPS collars. Mammal Research. 65(3): 621-628.

Cooke, S. C., Anchundia, D., Caton, E., Haskell, L. E., Jäger, H., Kalki, Y., Mollá, O., Rodríguez, J., Schramer, T., Walentowitz, A. and Fessl, B. 2020. Endemic species predation by the introduced smooth-billed ani in Galápagos. Biological Invasions, 22: 2113–2120.

Geldmann, J., … Cooke, S. C., … and Balmford, A. 2020. Insights from two decades of the Student Conference on Conservation Science. Biological Conservation, 243: 108478.

Cooke, S. C., Balmford, A., Johnston, A., Massimino, D., Newson, S. E. and Donald, P. F. 2019. Road exposure and the detectability of birds in field surveys. Ibis. 162(3): 885-901. (I wrote a blog for the British Ornithologists’ Union on the findings of this paper here.)

Cooke, S. C., Haskell, L. E., van Rees, C. B. and Fessl, B. 2019. A review of the introduced smooth-billed ani Crotophaga ani in Galápagos. Biological Conservation, 229: 38-49. (I also published a blog post with Galapagos Conservation Trust about the main findings of this paper, which can be found here.)

Izurieta, A., Delgado, B., … , Vissioli, F., Viteri-Mejía, C., Norris-Crespo, L., Cooke, S. C., Veronica Toral-Granda, M. and Sutherland, W.J. 2018. A collaboratively derived environmental research agenda for Galápagos. Pacific Conservation Biology, 24: 168–177.

van Rees, C. B., Muñoz, M. A., Cooke, S. C. and Reed, J. M. Morphological differences in the island-endemic Hawaiian subspecies of the common gallinule Gallinula galeata. Manuscript accepted.

Cooke, S. C. and Fessl, B. A new trap design for smooth-billed anis Crotophaga ani in Galápagos. Manuscript in preparation.

Upcott, E. V., Mason, L. R., Bagguley, E., Cooke, S. C., Gooch, H., Meadows, M., O’Dowd, R. and Smart, J. The impact of marsh harriers on wetland breeding waders. Manuscript in preparation.

Unpublished works

Cooke, S. C. 2018. A new trap design for smooth-billed anis Crotophaga ani in Galápagos – a manual for design and use. Unpublished report for the Charles Darwin Foundation.

Cooke, S. C. 2014. A study of the diet of western marsh harriers Circus aeruginosus breeding on lowland wet grassland nature reserves and their effect on breeding northern lapwings Vanellus vanellus. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis.

Academic Presentations

British Trust for Ornithology, UK. 2020. “Assessing the contributions of road traffic on British bird populations” (seminar).

Island Biology Conference, La Reunion. 2019. “The introduced Smooth-billed Ani in Galápagos” (poster).

European Ornithological Union’s European Meeting of Young Ornithologists, Turin, Italy. 2018. “Assessing the contribution of road traffic to declines in British bird populations” (full talk).

Departmental Talk, University of Cambridge, UK. 2018. “The introduced Smooth-billed Ani in Galápagos” (full talk).

Infra Eco Network Europe, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. 2018. “Assessing the contribution of road traffic to declines in British bird populations” (full talk).

International Ornithological Congress, Vancouver, Canada. 2018. “Assessing the contribution of road traffic to declines in British bird populations” (full talk, part of the Impact of Anthropogenic Noise on Birds symposium).

Departmental Talk, University of Cambridge, UK. 2018. “Assessing the contribution of road traffic to declines in British bird populations” (full talk).

Zoology Department Graduate Symposium, University of Cambridge, UK. 2018. “Assessing the contribution of road traffic to declines in British bird populations” (full talk).

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Hawaiian Islands, USA. 2017. “The introduced Smooth-billed Ani in Galápagos” (full talk, part of the Galápagos and Hawaii symposium).

RSPB Centre of Conservation Science Annual Science Meeting, Grantham, UK. 2014. “A study of the diet of Western Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus breeding on lowland wet grassland nature reserves” (short talk).

Extras

I have shared various R-codes on GitHub which can be found here. In addition, my Publons reviewer profile can be found here.