A driven and hands-on Bioscience graduate with a Distinction degree, specialising in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology.
I am broadly fascinated in how ecological variance shapes behavioural plasticity in social systems. In particular, I am interested in how food resources influence intraspecific differences in behaviour, movement and social interactions, for the overarching applications within conservation and management.
My master's research explored the ecological and social determinants of food sharing behaviours in a group living species, the Asian small-clawed otter. This work has further intrigued my interests into examining the impacts of varying ecological conditions and anthropogenic impacts on shaping animal behaviour.
I am passionate about effective science communication, marine conservation and MPA network design.
My passion for the natural world has always been immense. It drives all of my choices and experiences in life, I just can't get enough of it.
Madison Bowden-Parry, Behavioural ecologist
5+ years of higher education, international research and field experience with renowned non-profits
PADI Rescue Diver with 4+ specialities
RYA Powerboat Level 2 Handling Certification
3 years experience as a Marine Wildlife Guide with up-to-date ENG 1 Seafarer Medical
Marine Mammal Medic and Necropsy Technician with over 4 years experience in large animal care
Commissioned Photographer, worked alongside BBC and Nat Geo Filmmakers
Public Speaker for The Wildlife Trusts
Combined Otter Ecology, Survey with Development and Mitigation qualified
THE INITIAL STEPS
My career started off as a Marine photographer. With a Bachelors in Marine and Natural History Photography with Falmouth University, I was sent all over the world to photograph our incredible marine life.
Five countries later, I was working alongside multiple BBC and Nat Geo photographers and filmmakers, documenting our natural treasures and environmental issues.
I was fortunate enough to experience incredible wildlife encounters along the way and my passion for the behavioural ecology of top predators became extremely apparent.
THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS
I have always been fascinated in the selective pressures that yield adaptations in social animals, and specifically variability in different ecological environments.
Being a marine photographer gave me the chance to encounter and photograph many different species in a variety of contexts, although my expertise and passion is for marine and underwater content.
My questions of 'why' do individuals in social societies exhibit extreme behavioural plasticity, and 'what' were the drivers of this, were somewhat repetitive, which lead me onto the next chapter in my life, to pursue a MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology with the University of Exeter.
Currently, I am a postgraduate, with the aim to pursue a PhD.
MY DRIVE, EXPERIENCE AND PASSION
Before and during my MSc, I have spent many hours as a research assistant with three international non-profits, from three week contracts, to four months, working with Dolphin societies and investigating the drivers of sociality in variable contexts. This work, and my own (on-going) MSc project that investigates 'the ecological and social determinants of food sharing behaviours in Asian small-clawed otters', uses a multi-disciplinary approach, combining field observations, behavioural experiments and social network analysis to address questions of social ecology and ethology. Please see my CV for more information on my expertise.
My current research explores an area of which has played crucial development in the evolution of cooperation. By increasing the evidence of age-related foraging demands and the influences of social associations on food sharing, it can help us understand more of resource-driven behaviours and preferences, which plays an important role in community and population ecology. I am using Asian small-clawed otters as a model system to explore the ecological and social determinants of food sharing, with a specific outlook of how this can play a vital role in their conservation.
THE NEXT STEPS
I am currently seeking a PhD in cetacean or otter research, with particular interest in the effects of ecological variance on shaping behaviour and social interactions, with the overarching aims for conservation application.