Associate Research Fellows

Dr Alastair Lavery

Senior Research Fellow

Alastair is an arachnologist from Scotland with a first degree for Glasgow University followed by a PhD at Paisley College of Technology on the community ecology of arachnids in a Highland glen. His professional work after this was in education, specialising in sustainable development education, but his interest in spiders was never completely extinguished.  His work with the RSPB, before he retired, took him to the Falkland Islands where he began a long term project into the larger arachnids of the islands, adding South Georgia as it became clear how closely related the spider communities were. This continuing project has, to date, doubled the number of spider species known on the islands to 46. Two species have been added to South Georgia’s shorter list, now at 6 species.  The main focus at present is describing the 14 new species found from both island groups, with analysis of the distribution and ecology of all the species just beginning.  Alastair is currently president of the British Arachnological Society.

Professor Michael Harte

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Harte is Professor and in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Oceanography at Oregon State University (OSU) and specializes in Marine Resource Management, Marine Spatial Planning and fisheries Management.

Most recently he took a two and a half leave absence from 20011 to 2013 from OSU and lead WWF – Australia’s marine program.  He was heavily engaged in Australia’s responsible seafood movement and managed corporate partnerships with sector leading supermarkets, brands, aquaculture and nutraceutical companies.

Prior to coming to the USA in 2005 he held the position of Economic Adviser to the Falkland Islands Government and was responsible for the provision of strategic and operational policy and economic advice to the Governor, Chief Executive, and elected representatives of the Falklands Islands Government.

Dr Harte has also been the General Manager, Policy and Science, for the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council. He was responsible for providing policy and scientific leadership and related services to the seafood industry, New Zealand Government, and other fishery stakeholders.

He has specific research interests in:

  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Rights-based fishery management systems.
  • Co-management of coastal marine resources.
  • Market transformation and sustainable seafood.

Dr. Harte has chaired and served on many advisory boards, committees, working groups and provided scientific and policy advice to a wide range of stakeholders at local, national and international levels.  In 2006, he was appointed by the governor to Oregon's Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team, a scientific review panel charged with advising the State of Oregon on matters of science related to the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Seafood Consumer Center based in Astoria Oregon.

Dr Martin Collins

Senior Research Fellow

Originally from Liverpool, Martin first came to the Falklands as a fisheries observer in 1990, but left after a year to undertake a PhD investigating the ecology of squid around the Irish Coast. After completing his PhD Martin worked at Aberdeen University, researching deep-sea fish ecology and lecturing. In 2002, after seven years in Aberdeen, Martin moved to the British Antarctic Survey to work on the ecology of Southern Ocean nekton (fish and squid). In May 2009 Martin moved to the Falklands to take up a post as Director of Fisheries and Chief Executive for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Dr Judith Brown

Senior Research Fellow

Judith currently works for St Helena Government as the project manager for a Darwin funded research project mapping the inshore marine habitats and biodiversity of the island. As a marine ecologist (and also the diving officer) for the Shallow Marine Survey Group (SMSG) she has also worked on the marine surveys of Falklands, South Georgia and Ascension. Judith studied her BSc in Applied Marine Biology at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh and gained her PhD through Aberdeen University while she was based on the Falklands. Following her strong research interest in fisheries ecology her thesis was on the life history of Patagonian toothfish (Disssotichus eleginoides). She also spent several years working on the commercial fisheries around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, including being involved with the establishment of the Marine Protected Area and being part of the UK delegation at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) annual meeting.

Dr Alastair Baylis

Senior Research Fellow

Al gained his PhD in 2008 from the University of Adelaide studying the foraging ecology of New Zealand fur seals in South Australia. Currently he is completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Studies in Conservation Medicine at Murdoch University. His recent posts include the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, where he worked with the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit on Northern fur seals. During his time as Conservation Officer at Falklands Conservation, Al applied his broad research interests in marine predator foraging ecology and population dynamics to develop a range of projects including the influence of climate variability on gentoo penguins, winter migration in black-browed albatross, and fur seal diet. Now based at Deakin University and working closely with Dr Iain Staniland (BAS), Al’s principal research interest is in developing a long-term project on the little studied populations of southern sea lions and South American fur seals breeding at the Falkland Islands.

Dr Nicola Weber

Senior Research Fellow

Nicola has a BSc (Hons) in Marine and Environmental Biology from the University of St Andrews and an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation and PhD (Thesis title: Quantifying contact rates and space use in the Eurasian badger Meles meles: implications for the transmission of bovine tuberculosis) from the University of Exeter. With a broad interest in the use of scientific research to inform practical conservation and management decisions, Nicola is currently managing the government Conservation Department on Ascension Island (

Dr Haseeb Randhawa

Senior Research Fellow

Haseeb was born and raised in Montreal, Canada and completed his BSc in Zoology at McGill University. During his degree, Parasitology was his favourite class and he became fascinated with parasites. Parasitism is the most successful evolutionary adaptation on the planet with more than half the species on Earth having adopted parasitism as a means of life. He then pursue a MSc in Parasitology at the Institute of Parasitology (McGill University) describing the parasite communities of four skate species in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. During this time, his passion for sharks and skates developed whilst continuing to nurture his interest in parasites. Combining these, he went on to complete a PhD at the University of New Brunswick (Canada) where he studied the determinants of host specificity in skate parasites in the northern Atlantic Ocean. During the latter stages of these studies, Haseeb had the opportunity to join a research cruise in the Falkland Islands to work on the parasite communities of skates off the Falkland Shelf. He completed four years of postdoctoral work at the University of Otago in New Zealand investigating the drivers of parasite diversity and host specificity in sharks and skates. Prior to taking on his current role as fisheries scientist for the Falkland Islands Government, Haseeb worked as a Senior Teaching Fellow for the Ecology Degree Programme at the University of Otago for nearly five years. Over the past few years, he have been collaborating with members of the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department on various projects, primarily on using otolith microchemistry to differentiate between different commercial fish stocks. However, knowledge of parasites in the Falkland Islands Shelf ecosystem, especially those of squid (the main fisheries we manage), is essential to develop an ecosystem-based management approach to fisheries.

Dr Paul Brewin

Senior Research Fellow

Paul gained his PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand, studying the deep-benthic community ecology in New Zealand's fjords, and has held a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California San Diego, where he studied seamount community ecology and oceanography. Paul has a general interest in marine benthic communities and has published across a wide range of topics including sea urchin reproductive ecology, drivers of community diversity, deep-sea coral predictive distribution modelling, and history of deep-sea research. Paul is also interested in the shallow marine ecology of and participate in activities the Shallow Marine Surveys Group.

Dr Alexander (Sasha) Arkhipkin

Senior Research Fellow

Sasha is senior fisheries scientist with the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department based in Stanley, Falkland Islands, specializing in marine biology, ecology and fisheries. After his graduation from the Biological Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, he joined the Laboratory of Commercial Invertebrates of the Atlantic Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (AtlantNIRO) in Kaliningrad. During the next 16 years, he worked on biology, ecology and fisheries of cephalopods in the Northwest, tropical and Southwest Atlantic, as well as Northwest, tropical and South-east Pacific. In 1989, he successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis ‘Age and growth of the squid of family Ommastrephidae’ in the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology in Moscow. In 1995, he worked as Visiting Professor in Istituto di Tecnologia della Pesca e del Pescato (ITPP), Mazara del Vallo, Italy on a project on population parameters and abundance of Mediterranean squid. Since 1998, he is working in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department as Head of Scientific Section, leading scientific work and providing advice on the management of commercial cephalopod and fish stocks around the Falkland Islands.

Dr Vladimir Laptikhovsky

Senior Research Fellow

Vlad has MSc and PhD from Kaliningrad State Technical University of Fisheries (Kaliningrad, Russia) and DSc from All-Russian State Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. He works in the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department as a stock assessment scientist. He is currently a member of Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC) and Associate Editor of Journal of Marine Biological Association of the U.K. His research interests include different aspects of population biology of cephalopods, fish and crustaceans with emphasize on reproduction and trophic relations, as well as he works on biological diversity and fauna in subtidal and deep –sea habitats of the Southwest Atlantic. He authored 140 scientific papers and the book “Ecology of cephalopod reproduction”

Dr Sam Weber

Senior Research Fellow

Sam has an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation and a PhD in Ecology, both from the University of Exeter. His PhD thesis, completed in 2010, examined the reproductive ecology of green turtles nesting at Ascension Island. Sam returned to Ascension in 2011 with his wife, Nicola, to carry out a status assessment of the Island’s marine turtles. He currently works for Ascension Island Government Conservation Department where he is managing a Darwin Initiative-funded project to develop and implement a Biodiversity Action Plan for the Island. He has wide-ranging interests in island ecology, conservation science and biodiversity policy.

Teresa Darbyshire

Research Fellow

Teresa has a BSc in Marine Biology from Bangor University and an MSc from Heriot-Watt University. She has worked at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff since 1997 managing the marine invertebrate collections, undertaking marine benthic survey work and carrying out taxonomic research on polychaete worms (bristleworms). Teresa has an interest in all groups of polychaetes and has published on new species from several different families from around the British Isles, Seychelles and South Africa. With support from the Shackleton Scholarship Fund, Shallow Marine Surveys Group and the National Museum of Wales, Teresa is now surveying the intertidal and near shore polychaetes of the Falkland Islands to compile a list of species for the region.