A driven and hands-on Bioscience graduate with a Distinction degree, specialising in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology.
My interests lie in the evolution of social behaviour. I am particularly fascinated in how ecological variance shapes behavioural plasticity in social societies, and the consequences of such for the application of conservation and management.
My work mostly focuses on gregarious societies and uses a multidisciplinary approach, including a combination of behavioural field observations, ecological experiments and acoustic monitoring.
Currently, I am investigating how social networks and resource-dependent ecological variance affects food sharing behaviours.
I'm always interested in research/photography collaborations, or if you would like to purchase any images, please do not hesitate to contact me!
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
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 and 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 had always been fascinated social behaviour, in particular, the drivers of such in marine and semi aquatic mammals.
Being a marine photographer gave me the chance to encounter many different species in a variety of contexts. However, simply photographing them was never enough.
My questions of 'why' do individuals in social societies exhibit extreme behavioural plasticity, 'what' were the drivers of this, were somewhat repetitive.
These questions lead me onto the next chapter in my life, to pursue a MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology with the University of Exeter.
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, investigating Dolphin societies and sociality. 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, food sharing behaviour. Here, I am using Asian small-clawed otters as a model system to explore the ecological and social determinants of this behaviour, with a specific outlook of how this can play a vital role in their conservation. 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.
THE NEXT STEPS
I am currently seeking a PhD in cetacean or otter research, with particular interest in social and population dynamics.