Brendan John Godley

Brendan John Godley
University of Exeter | UoE · Centre for Ecology and Conservation

BSc BVMS PhD

About

497
Publications
190,810
Reads
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22,640
Citations
Introduction
I carry out a range of research, teaching and administration in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation.
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - December 2012
University of Exeter

Publications

Publications (497)
Article
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This paper describes, for the first time, that scallops can be attracted into static fishing gear using LED lights. This novel finding presents an opportunity for the development of a new, low impact fishing method for scallops. Traditionally, wild caught scallops are primarily fished using dredges and trawls. Due to their penetrative nature, the i...
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Small-scale fisheries (SSFs) are often undervalued and unmanaged as a result of a lack of data. A study of SSFs in Menabe, western Madagascar in 1991 found diverse catches and a productive fishery with some evidence of declining catches. Here we compare data collected at the same landing site in 1991 and 2011. 2011 had seven times greater total mon...
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The biodiversity of marine and coastal habitats is experiencing unprecedented change. While there are well-known drivers of these changes, such as overexploitation, climate change and pollution, there are also relatively unknown emerging issues that are poorly understood or recognized that have potentially positive or negative impacts on marine and...
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Marine protected areas (MPAs), particularly large MPAs, are increasing in number and size around the globe in part to facilitate the conservation of marine megafauna under the assumption that large-scale MPAs better align with vagile life histories; however, this alignment is not well established. Using a global tracking dataset from 36 species acr...
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Monitoring how populations respond to sustained conservation measures is essential to detect changes in their population status and determine the effectiveness of any interventions. In the case of sea turtles, their populations are difficult to assess because of their complicated life histories. Ground-derived clutch counts are most often used as a...
Article
Southeast Asia is considered to have some of the highest levels of marine plastic pollution in the world. It is therefore vitally important to increase our understanding of the impacts and risks of plastic pollution to marine ecosystems and the essential services they provide to support the development of mitigation measures in the region. An inter...
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Although published literature regarding the 5 species of marine turtle found along the continental African east coast has grown substantially over the last decades, a comprehensive synthesis of their status and ecology is lacking. Using a mixed methods approach, which com- bined an exhaustive literature review and expert elicitation, we assessed th...
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Aim Understanding the spatial ecology of animal movements is a critical element in conserving long‐lived, highly mobile marine species. Analyzing networks developed from movements of six sea turtle species reveals marine connectivity and can help prioritize conservation efforts. Location Global. Methods We collated telemetry data from 1235 indivi...
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Due to changing environmental conditions, many species will have to migrate or occupy new suitable areas to avoid potential extinction in the current biodiversity crisis. Long-lived animals are especially vulnerable and ex-situ conservation actions can provide solutions through assisted colonisations. However, there is little empirical evidence on...
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Over the past 4 decades there has been a growing concern for the conservation status of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays). In 2002, the first elasmobranch species were added to Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Less than 20 yr later, there were 39 species on Appendix II and 5 o...
Article
Globally, the number of citizen science clean-up projects, such as beach cleans, is increasing in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment. Such activities offer the opportunity to gather insightful data on plastic abundance, distribution and composition. This information is key for informing effective management strat...
Article
As part of the Post‐2020 Biodiversity Framework, nations are assessing progress over the past decade in addressing the underlying drivers that influence direct pressures on biodiversity and formulating new policies and strategies for the decade to come. For marine conservation, global marine protected area (MPA) coverage is still falling short of t...
Article
Although published literature regarding the 5 species of marine turtle found along the continental African east coast has grown substantially over the last decades, a comprehensive synthesis of their status and ecology is lacking. Using a mixed methods approach, which combined an exhaustive literature review and expert elicitation, we assessed the...
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Agroforest mosaics represent one of the most extensive human-impacted terrestrial systems worldwide and play an increasingly critical role in wildlife conservation. In such dynamic shared landscapes, coexistence can be compromised if people view wildlife as a source of infectious disease. A cross-disciplinary One Health knowledge base can help to i...
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Plastic pollution and climate change have commonly been treated as two separate issues and sometimes are even seen as competing. Here we present an alternative view that these two issues are fundamentally linked. Primarily, we explore how plastic contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the beginning to the end of its life cycle. Secondly...
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The ingestion of plastic by marine turtles is now reported for all species. Small juvenile turtles (including post-hatchling and oceanic juveniles) are thought to be most at risk, due to feeding preferences and overlap with areas of high plastic abundance. Their remote and dispersed life stage, however, results in limited access and assessments. He...
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Colonially breeding birds and mammals form some of the largest gatherings of apex predators in the natural world and have provided model systems for studying mechanisms of population regulation in animals. According to one influential hypothesis, intense competition for food among large numbers of spatially constrained foragers should result in a z...
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The Endangered Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus is one of the most threatened marine mammals. Across Cyprus, suitable habitat and presence of monk seals is well documented and, recently, camera-trap surveys in Southern Cyprus found there to be pupping. We present results of the first camera-trap surveys in Northern Cyprus spanning the pupp...
Article
Monitoring animals with electronic tags is an increasingly important tool for fundamental and applied ecological research. Based on the size of the system under study, the ability to recapture the animal, and research medium (e.g., aerial, freshwater, saltwater, terrestrial), tags selected may either log data in memory (bio-logging), transmit it to...
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Dietary studies provide key insights into threats and changes within ecosystems and subsequent impacts on focal species. Diet is particularly challenging to study within marine environments and therefore is often poorly understood. Here, we examined the diet of stranded and bycaught loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ) and green turtles ( Chelonia mydas...
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The global lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic health risks has altered human interactions with nature. Here, we report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies. Hundr...
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Background Plastic pollution affects all ecosystems, and detrimental effects to animals have been reported in a growing number of studies. However, there is a paucity of evidence for effects on terrestrial animals in comparison to those in the marine realm. Methods We used the fly Drosophila melanogaster to study the effects that exposure to plast...
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Given differing trajectories of sea turtle populations worldwide, there is a need to assess and report long-term population trends and determine which conservation strategies are effective. In this study, we report on sea turtle nest monitoring in the Cayman Islands over a 22-year period. We found that green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta...
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Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands and their unique biodiversity are a global conservation priority. We explored the presence, composition and environmental drivers of plastic contamination across the marine ecosystem at an island scale, investigated uptake in marine invertebrates and designed a systematic priority scoring analysis to identify the most vu...
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Estimating life‐history traits and understanding their variation underpins the management of long‐lived, migratory animals, while knowledge of recovery dynamics can inform the management of conservation‐dependent species. Using a combination of nest counts and individual‐based life‐history data collected since 1993, we explore the drivers underlyin...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unparalleled global impacts on human mobility. In the ocean, ship-based activities are thought to have been impacted due to severe restrictions on human movements and changes in consumption. Here, we quantify and map global change in marine traffic during the first half of 2020. There were decreases in 70.2% of...
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Climate change is a threat to marine turtles that is expected to affect all their life stages. To guide future research, we conducted a review of the most recent literature on this topic, highlighting knowledge gains and research gaps since a similar previous review in 2009. We suggest a number of research priorities for an improved understanding o...
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The eastern Mediterranean is a region that has been relatively understudied with regards to anthropogenic marine litter despite potential for environmental and social costs. Here, coastal marine litter accumulation was assessed at eight beach locations along the coast of Northern Cyprus. Monthly surveys were performed between January 2017 and Janua...
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Marine mammals can play important ecological roles in aquatic ecosystems, and their presence can be key to community structure and function. Consequently, marine mammals are often considered indicators of ecosystem health and flagship species. Yet, historical population declines caused by exploitation, and additional current threats, such as climat...
Article
Microplastic is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant, but large gaps still exist in our knowledge of its distribution. We conducted a detailed assessment of the extent and variability of microplastic pollution in the Bristol Channel, UK. Sand samples were collected between the 5th and 30th August 2017, with microplastic recovered from 15 of the 1...
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Understanding empowerment is integral to facilitating sustainable use policies and requires assessing potential drivers. However, critical applications are rare in conservation. Using the island of Príncipe (São Tomé and Príncipe) as a case study, we undertook household surveys (N = 869) to assess potential drivers of psychological empowerment towa...
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Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing poses a major threat to effective management of marine resources, affecting biodiversity and communities dependent on these coastal resources. Spatiotemporal patterns of industrial fisheries in developing countries are often poorly understood, and global efforts to describe spatial patterns of fish...
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Green turtles Chelonia mydas have been subject to high levels of anthropogenic exploitation, with harvesting at their nesting sites especially pronounced throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to worldwide declines. Due to their delayed sexual maturity, long-term protection and monitoring is crucial to allow and accurately demon...
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Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear represents a substantial proportion of global marine plastic pollution and can cause significant environmental and socio-economic impacts. Yet little is known about its presence in, and implications for, freshwater ecosystems or its downstream contribution to plastic pollution in the ocean. This s...
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Rivers worldwide are now acting as major transport pathways for plastic pollution and discharge large quantities of waste into the ocean. Previous oceanographic modelling and current drifter data have been used to predict the movement and accumulation of plastic pollution in the marine environment, but our understanding of the transport and fate th...
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With over a century of records, we present a detailed analysis of the spatial and temporal occurrence of marine turtle sightings and strandings in the UK and Ireland between 1910 and 2018. Records of hard-shell turtles, including loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta, N = 240) and Kemp's ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii, N = 61), have significantl...
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Plastic pollution is increasing rapidly throughout the world’s oceans and is considered a major threat to marine wildlife and ecosystems. Although known to cause lethal or sub-lethal effects to vulnerable marine megafauna, population-level impacts of plastic pollution have not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we compiled and evaluated informatio...
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Microplastic pollution has become ubiquitous, affecting a wide variety of biota. Although microplastics are known to alter the development of a range of marine invertebrates, no studies provide a detailed morphological characterisation of the developmental defects. Likewise, the developmental toxicity of chemicals leached from plastic particles is...
Article
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Marine turtles are of conservation concern throughout their range, with past population declines largely due to exploitation through both legal and illegal take, and incidental capture in fisheries. Whilst much research effort has been focused on nesting beaches and elaborating migratory corridors, these species spend the vast majority of their lif...
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Microplastic pollution is ubiquitous in the marine environment and is ingested by numerous marine species. Sharks are an understudied group regarding their susceptibility to microplastic ingestion. Here, we provide evidence of ingestion of microplastic and other anthropogenic fibres in four demersal sharks species found in the waters of the United...
Preprint
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unparalleled global impacts on human mobility. In the ocean, ship-based activities are thought to have decreased due to severe restrictions and changes in goods consumption, but little is known of the patterns of change, which sectors are most affected, in which regions, and for how long. Here, we map global ch...
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Background: State-space models are important tools for quality control and analysis of error-prone animal movement data. The near real-time (within 24 h) capability of the Argos satellite system can aid dynamic ocean management of human activities by informing when animals enter wind farms, shipping lanes, and other intensive use zones. This capab...
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Seabirds are one of the most threatened avian taxa and are hence a high conservation priority. Managing seabirds is challenging, requiring conservation actions at sea (e.g. Marine Protected Areas - MPAs) and on land (e.g. protection of breeding sites). Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) have been successfully used to identify sites of glo...
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In many developing countries, small-scale fisheries provide employment and important food security for local populations. To support resource management, the description of the spatiotemporal extent of fisheries is necessary, but often poorly understood due to the diffuse nature of effort, operated from numerous small wooden vessels. Here, in Gabon...
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Small-scale fisheries are an important source of food, income and cultural identity to millions of people worldwide. Despite many fisher people observing declining catches, a lack of data remains a barrier to understanding the status of small-scale fisheries and their effective management in many places. Where data exist, complex analyses and stock...
Article
The freshwater tucuxi (Sotalia flluviatilis) and the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) are endemic to the Amazon-Orinoco river basin. Their conservation is hindered by human disturbance and uncertainty about total population size and distribution. In this study, we used rapid assessment questionnaires to identify threats to river dolphins Per...
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Bycatch is a significant cause of population declines of marine megafauna globally. While numerous bycatch mitigation strategies exist, acoustic alarms, or pingers, are the most widely adopted strategy for small cetaceans. Although pingers have been shown to be an effective measure for numerous species, there are some concerns about their long-term...
Preprint
Full-text available
State-space models are important tools for quality control of error-prone animal movement data. The near real-time (within 24 h) capability of the Argos satellite system aids dynamic ocean management of human activities by informing when animals enter intensive use zones. This capability also facilitates use of ocean observations from animal-borne...
Article
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Reflections on sea turtle conservation - Volume 54 Issue 3 - B. J. Godley, A. C. Broderick, L. P. Colman, A. Formia, M. H. Godfrey, M. Hamann, A. Nuno, L. C. M. Omeyer, A. R. Patrício, A. D. Phillott, A. F. Rees, K. Shanker
Article
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Coastal areas provide critical nesting habitat for marine turtles. Understanding how artificial light might impact populations is key to guide management strategies. Here we assess the extent to which nesting populations of four marine turtle species—leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys i...