Judith Oakley

Judith Oakley BSc(Hons); MSc

Research Associate/part-time lecturer

Swansea

Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481106
E-mail: judith.oakley@sm.uwtsd.ac.uk

Judith Oakley

  • Undertaking marine-based research projects
  • Writing and producing scientific publications
  • Guest lecturing on research areas
  • Teaching identification and fieldwork skills and leading students on fieldwork trips
  • Student dissertation supervision

Previous work includes: Marine Biological Association, Plymouth as part of the MarLIN team, concentrating on marine educational projects and species research. Carmarthen Bay & Estuaries European Site Officer, working closely with the Relevant Authorities Group and gathering information for the draft management plan. Pencoed College, Bridgend - Judith was responsible for delivering modules on Coastal management and Freshwater Biology and Pollution for the HND/C Environmental Conservation Management.

Having previously undertaken guest lecturing on the BSc Environmental Conservation Management degree, joined UWTSD Swansea in 2011 as a Research Assistant in Marine Conservation. Currently Research Associate in the School of Built & Natural Environment.

MSc/BSc Environmental Conservation Management modules contributed to:

Biodiversity, Freshwater ecology, Habitat Science, Habitat Management, Fieldwork, Coastal and Marine Science.

Projects supervised:

  • A comparative study of the distribution and growth rate of the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata in Swansea Bay and Milford Haven.
  • The population density, structure and substrate preference of the invasive non-native mollusc Crepidula fornicata along the Gower coast, with particular reference to Mumbles foreshore.
  • An investigation into the distribution of the invasive macro-alga Sargassum muticum on the South Gower coastline.
  • Would an individual consider renewable energy projects as environmentally beneficial, once photographic images of their construction were shown?

RESEARCH INTERESTS INCLUDE:

  • The distribution and behaviour of the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Swansea Bay and along the Gower coast.
  • Photo-identification of the short-beaked common dolphin Dephinus delphis off the Gower coast.
  • Photo-identification of the grey seal Halichoerus grypus off the Gower coast.
  • Rocky shore ecology and climate change.
  • The ecology, population structure and habitat preference of the cushionstar  Asterina phylactica.
  • Marinas as vectors of dispersal of invasive non- native marine species.
  • Artificial structures as marine habitats, with particular reference to Mumbles Pier.
  • Implications of the establishment and spread of marine non- native species by marine renewable energy devices.

RESEARCH PROJECTS:

  • A comparison of the epifauna of Laminaria hyperborea holdfasts in polluted and clean areas of SW Wales.
  • A review of the ecology, conservation and status of the Endangered Knysna seahorse Hippocampus capensis, Boulenger 1900.
  • A preliminary investigation into the degree of male v female intrasexual competition and intersexual choice in the Endangered Knysna seahorse Hippocampus capensis, Boulenger 1900.
  • Habitat use and distribution patterns of the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Swansea Bay and along the Gower coast.
  • The ecology, population structure and habitat preference of the cushionstar  Asterina phylactica.

As part of the LCRI Marine Consortium, (2011-2013), undertook  research on harbour porpoise distribution, habitat use and behaviour off the SW Wales coast. Surveys were undertaken from vessels and from land-based locations ranging from Port Talbot docks to Bury Holms.

From 2011-2014 have been undertaking monthly field surveys and monitoring of rockpool flora and fauna on the Gower peninsula, with particular reference to the cushionstar Asterina phylactica.

Was a member of the Marine Aliens Consortium (Marine Aliens I and II projects) helping raise awareness of non- native species and their impacts through educational projects and undertaking extensive surveys of marinas in SW England, NW England and SW Wales.

Judith has extensive experience of many aspects of marine biology/ecology including rocky and sandy shore ecology, marine invasive species, marine mammals, impacts of marine litter, surveying and fieldwork.

Since 2008, has operated as Oakley Intertidal marine consultancy – undertaking surveys, delivering marine and coastal education and outreach projects, designing interpretation materials, undertaking habitat and species photography. The hugely successful annual programme of Gower-based ‘Seashore Safaris’ events continue to be funded and delivered. These have attracted over 3,500 participants (2008-2013) with ages from 3 to 83, both visitors to Gower and local residents. These events aim to raise awareness and understanding of the marine biodiversity of the area and to encourage marine conservation.

Since 2009, has also worked as part-time Marine Biodiversity Officer for the City and County of Swansea. Involved in a review of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, particularly for coastal and marine habitats and species. Most recently, involved in consultation response for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and managing a wide range of interpretation projects across Swansea and Gower.

In collaboration with Swansea, Bangor, Aberystwyth, and Cardiff Universities, together with Pembrokeshire College, (the Low Carbon Research Institute Marine Consortium), Judith undertook a research project from 2011-2013. The focus for the research was to understand potential impacts from marine renewable energy devices upon cetaceans, particularly harbour porpoise and other marine mammals in Swansea Bay and along the Gower coast.   

She has contributed to the Environmental Impact Assessment for the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. This provided an opportunity to build upon marine mammal work that had previously been undertaken and produce a consultation report, identifying critical feeding habitats which in turn informed the impact assessment process (June 2013).

Consultancy work: Trading as Oakley Intertidal, Judith has undertaken a range of environmental projects. These have included consultancy areas such as: school grounds improvements for biodiversity and environmental education; marine education in Wales; marina surveys for marine non- native species; intertidal surveys and interpretation projects for many organisations.  

Macro and wildlife photographywork particularly of seashore life. Has provided images to MarLIN, Marine Biological Association, The Shark Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, The Marine Conservation Society, The Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society, Marine Connection, ORCA, Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre, Defra, BBC Wildlife magazine, Plantlife, City & County of Swansea and the Countryside Council for Wales. These have been used in educational and conservation campaigns and other interpretation materials. Undertook all photography for her own book ‘Seashore Safaris’.

Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2013) Marine Mammal Data Analysis for Swansea Bay: A consultation report for Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc. June 2013, 44pp

Oakley, J. 2012. Habitat use and distribution patterns of harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena from vessel surveys. Poster presentation at Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) annual conference, Cardiff University.

Oakley, J. 2011. Ecological implications for marine mammal populations from marine renewable energy devices. Poster presentation at Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) annual conference, Cardiff University.

Oakley, J. 2011. Observations of intertidal life below Mumbles Pier. Gower Vol. 62. The Gower Society.

Oakley, J. 2011. Seashore Safaris – exploring rocky and sandy seashores with Judith Oakley. Revised edition. Graffeg, Cardiff. 225 pp. 

Oakley, J. 2010. Seashore Safaris – exploring rocky and sandy seashores with Judith Oakley. Graffeg, Cardiff. 225 pp. 

Oakley, J. 2010. A Seashore Guide to Neath Port Talbot. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. 10pp. Available from: http://www.npt.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=4320

Collin, S.B., Oakley, J.A., Sewell, J. & Bishop, J.D.D. 2010. Widespread occurrence of the non-indigenous ascidian Corella eumyota on the shores of Plymouth Sound and Estuaries SAC, UK. Aquatic Invasions (2010) Volume 5, Issue 2: 175-179

Jenkins, S., Griffith, K., Oakley, J. 2009. Survey of marina environments on the north-west coast of England for the invasive species Didemnum vexillum. Report to DEFRA.

Wilding, C., Jackson, E., Langmead, O., Hiscock, K., Evans, J., Sewell, J., Oakley, J. & Tyler-Walters, H.  2009. Marine Health Check update – Flagship species revisited. WWF-UK, Godalming. 

G. J. Baker, F. Crouch, J. Sewell, J. Parr, J. Oakley, A. Lawrence and E. Morris. 2009. A Marine Education Framework for Wales. CCW Contract Science Report No. 890

Oakley, J. 2008. Intertidal life under Mumbles Pier. Newsletter of the Marine Biological Association Summer 2008. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Oakley, J. 2008. Intertidal Life of Gower. Gower Vol. 59, 2008.The Gower Society.

Oakley, J. 2008.The solitary marine biologist. JMBA Global Marine Environment. Spring 2008 Issue 7. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Sewell, J., Jefferson, R. & Oakley, J.A. 2006. Marine life Topic Note. Commercial Fishing. Marine Life Information Network: (on-line). Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk

Ager, O. & Oakley, J.A. 2006. Marine Life Topic Note. Marine & Coastal Litter. Marine Life Information Network: (on-line). Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk 

Hiscock, K. & Oakley, J., 2005. English Channel towed sledge seabed images. Phase 2: Analysis of selected tow images. Report to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee from the Marine Biological Association. Plymouth:Marine Biological Association. JNCC contract F90-01-784

Oakley, J. & Hiscock, K., 2005. English Channel towed sledge seabed images. Phase 1: scoping study and example analysis. Report to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee from the Marine Biological Association. Plymouth:Marine Biological Association. JNCC contract F90-01-784 39pp

Oakley. J.A. 2004. Residency patterns of the short-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus off the south-west coast of Tenerife. The University of Hull/Projecto Ambiental Tenerife. Paper presented at the European Cetacean Society 18th annual conference, Kolmården, Sweden

Hiscock, K., Sewell, J. & Oakley, J. 2005. Marine Health Check 2005. A report to gauge the health of the UK’s sea-life. Godalming WWF-UK. 79pp.

ARTICLES/CONFERENCE CONTRIBUTIONS IN PREPARATION:

Oakley, J. (2014). A Guide to Coastal and Marine Wildlife in Swansea Bay. City and County of Swansea Council.

Jenkins, R.E. and Oakley, J. (2014). Distribution mapping of Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena in Swansea Bay and Gower, JNCC update

Kantamaneni K., Phillips M., Jenkins R., Oakley, J., Ibeabuchi, K. Could the UK Economy Be Impacted by an Increase in Tornado Occurrence: A Consequence of Climate Change in the 21st Century, 6th International conference on climate change, 14-16 June 2014, Iceland. (Presentation) 

Kantamaneni K., Phillips M., Jenkins R., Oakley, J., Ibeabuchi K. Could the UK Economy Be Impacted by an Increase in Tornado Occurrence: A Consequence of Climate Change in the 21st Century (2014). International Journal of Climate Change: Impact and Responses (in review).

BOOK CONTRIBUTIONS: 

2014 - Twenty images of seashore species feature in Jones, B.W. & Williams, I.  Cynefin Glan y Mor.  Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Llanrwst, Conwy.

Active member of:

  • Wales Biodiversity Partnership Marine Ecosystem Group
  • Wales Biodiversity Partnership Non-Native Species Specialist Group
  • Swansea Biodiversity Partnership
  • Neath Port Talbot Biodiversity Forum
  • Swansea Environment Forum
  • Swansea Environmental Education Forum
  • Porcupine Marine Natural History Society

May 2010 - Conference organiser : Marine Non-Native Species in Welsh waters, Swansea University

March 2013 - Organiser and Co-ordinator of fieldtrip for delegates at Porcupine Marine Natural History Society annual conference, Swansea University

June 2011 – Speaker at Hay Literary Festival and book signing of ‘Seashore Safaris’.

2012 – ‘Seashore Safaris’ by Judith Oakley won ‘Best Design and Production’ award at the Welsh Books Council’s Publisher Trade Awards.

2013 – Guest of Welsh Government and Welsh Books Council launch of Welsh Books App, National Eisteddfod, Denbigh – ‘Seashore Safaris’ was chosen as the only English language book App.

A considerable number of marine and coastal illustrated talks/presentations and guided walks/talks/fieldtrips  undertaken for a wide range of organisations.

TV/RADIO APPEARANCES:

2007 – BBC1 ‘ Iolo’s Welsh Safari’ Series 3 – rockpooling on Gower with Iolo Williams

2007 - Sky Family and Sky Movies Premiere – ‘Family Close-ups’ with Craig Stevens – threats to British marine wildlife

2008 – BBC1 ‘Not in My Nature’ – seashore life on Gower with Iolo Williams, challenging a group of nature rookies to step outside their comfort zones and take a walk on the wild side.

2011 – live broadcast on BBC Wales re: marine litter and impacts

March 2014 – BBC CBeebies – Mr Bloom Here and There – Seaside Safari 

Various radio interviews – studio and live broadcasts regarding Welsh marine and seashore life – with Jamie Owen and Roy Noble.