Dr Oliver Padget

Dr Oliver Padget

Junior Research Fellow in Biology

Biography

I completed a B.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Nottingham in 2013, before completing a D.Phil. in Zoology at the University of Oxford in 2018. My D.Phil. research examined some of the sensory aspects underpinning navigation in seabirds, and some of the causes and consequences of a long-lived life-history strategy in Procellariiform seabirds.

Teaching

I offer tutorials in animal behaviour and quantitative methods. I am also happy to be approached by prospective undergraduate project students.

Recent publications

  • Padget, O., Bond, S., Kavelaars, M.M., van Loon, E., Bolton, M., Fayet, A., Syposz, M., Roberts, S. and Guilford, T. 2018. In-situ clock-shift reveals that sun-compass contributes to orientation in a pelagic seabird. Current Biology, 28. 257-259.
  • Padget, O., Dell’Ariccia, G., Gagliardo, A., Gonzalez-Solis, J. and Guilford, T. 2017. Anosmia impairs homing orientation but not foraging in free-ranging shearwaters. Scientific Reports. 7. E9668.
  • Guilford, T., Padget, O., Bond, S., Syposz, M. Light pollution causes object collision during local nocturnal maneuvering flight by adult Manx Shearwaters, Puffinus puffinus. Seabird. In Press.

Research Interests

I have broad interests in the mechanisms underpinning animal behaviour, in particular how the behavioural processes govern animals’ interactions with their environment. Currently, my research focuses on how animals learn, encode and use spatial information to navigate and exploit resources in their environment. This combines theoretical and empirical work. For experimentation, I employ seabirds as models for animal navigation. Seabirds are nature’s greatest navigators, routinely travelling many thousands of miles on foraging trips during breeding. They are also long lived and so accumulate experience over their lives, potentially allowing us to examine the ontogeny and, through manipulations and natural experiments, the functionality of their cognitive representation of space.

As a side project, I am also interested in the conservation of the Balearic Shearwater, Europe’s only critically endangered seabird. I am part of a team investigating the demography and foraging behaviour of the species with a view to informing fisheries policy in the western Mediterranean where it is caught as bycatch.