Dr Nancy Harrison

Nancy Harrison

Principal Lecturer

Location: Cambridge
Email: Nancy.Harrison@anglia.ac.uk


PhD in Biology, University of California Irvine
BSc in Wildlife Biology, University of California Davis

Teaching Experience

I am an ornithologist with diverse interests in avian behaviour, ecology and conservation.
For many years I have worked with seabirds; I have made eight research cruises to the Bering Sea and two to the Antarctic as well as worked extensively on seabirds in Scottish waters. I worked in the early 1990s for the RSPB as Marine Policy Officer, campaigning for the protection of marine birds and the marine environment. Recent research and teaching has focused on garden birds - particularly the consequences of urbanisation, working with undergraduate and post-graduate students in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

For more than 20 years I have taught and developed new undergraduate modules in zoology, animal behaviour, marine biology, ecology and conservation.
More recently my focus has been the development of two MSc courses - Applied Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour: Applications for Conservation. Now I am working part-time in the delivery of distance learning components of the MSc in Applied Wildlife Conservation.

MSc teaching

Module leader for:
Technology and Techniques in the Study of Animal Behaviour
Landscapes, ecological networks and ecosystem services
MSc Research

Other modules: Communications skills for conservation, GIS tools for biodiversity mapping and conservation, Research methods


I am a member of the Animal and Environment Research Group in the Department of Life Sciences. My research is on birds and their conservation, with published work in the following areas:
  • Avian behaviour
  • Avian conservation
  • Habitat restoration
  • Seabird ecology and conservation
  • Urban biodiversity and conservation

Professional Affiliations

Member of the Working Group on Seabird Ecology of ICES - International Council for Exploration of the Seas


Mackenzie, J. A., Hinsley S.A. and Harrison N.M. (2014) "Parid foraging choices in urban habitat and their consequences for fitness". Ibis 156: 591-605.

Richards N.L., Hall, S.W., Harrison, N.M., Gautam, L., Scott, K.S., Dowling, G., Zorilla, I.,
and Fajardo, I. (2014) "Merging Wildlife and Environmental Monitoring Approaches with
Forensic Principles: Application of Unconventional and Non-Invasive Sampling in Eco-Pharmacovigilance" Journal of Forensic Research 5:3

Whitehouse, M.J., Harrison, N.M. , Mackenzie, JM and Hinsley, SA (2013) Preferred Habitat of Breeding Birds may be Compromised by Climate Change: Unexpected Effects of an Exceptionally Cold, Wet Spring. PLoS One doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075536

Harrison, N. M., Whitehouse, M. J. and Madureira, L.A.D.P (2013) "Observations of the under-described avifauna of the Mostardas Peninsula, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil". Check List 9(2):391-399

Harrison, N. M. and Whitehouse, M. J. (2012) "Drivers of songbird productivity at a restored gravel pit: Influence of seasonal flooding and rainfall patterns and implications for habitat management" Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment162: 138-143.

Richards, N.L., Hall, S., Scott, K.S. & Harrison, N.M. (2011) "Short communication: First instance of detection of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flunixin in sheep's wool". Environmental Pollution 159 (5):1446-1450.

Richards, N.L., Cooke, G., Simpson, V. Hall, S., Harrison, N.M. & Scott, K.S. (2011) "Short communication: Qualitative detection of the NSAIDs diclofenac and ibuprofen in the hair of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) occupying UK waterways with GC-MS". European Journal of Wildlife Research.

Harrision, N M
and Whitehouse, J M. (2011 ) "Mixed-species flocks: an example of niche construction?" Animal Behaviour 81: 675-682. 5 January 2011.

Gordon, AIV & Harrison, NM. 2010. Observations of mixed-species bird flocks at Kichwa Tembo Camp, Kenya. Ostrich 81 : 259-264.

Ridley, C., Harrison, N.M. and Pugh, P.J.A. (2010) "Identifying the origins of fishing gear ingested by seabirds foraging over the Southern Ocean: a novel multivariate approach". Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Systems 20: 621-631.

Phillips, R.A., Ridley, C., Reid, K., Pugh, P.J.A., Tuck, G.N. and Harrison, N. (2010): "Ingestion of fishing gear and entanglements of seabirds: Monitoring and implications for management." Biological Conservation 143: 501-512.

Hinsley, S., Hill, R., Bellamy, P., Broughton, R.K., Harrison, N., Mackenzie, J.A., Speakman, and Ferns, P. (2009): "Do highly modified landscapes favour generalists at the expense of specialists? An example using woodland birds." Landscape Research 34: 509-26.

Hinsley, S., Hill, R., Bellamy, P., Harrison, N., Speakman, J., Wilson, A., and Ferns, P. (2008) "Effects of structural and functional gaps on breeding birds: working harder for less." Landscape Ecology 23: 615-626.

Miles, W., Freeman, S.N., Harrison, N.M. and Balmer, D.E. (2007) Measuring passerine productivity using constant effort sites: the effect of missed visits. Ringing and Migration 23: 231-237.

Richards, N L, Scott, K S, Hall, S, Harrison, N M (2006): "Detection of NSAISs in livestock animals and scavenging birds of prey with emphasis on vultures and condors". Vulture News 54: 68-71.

Bellamy, P E, Hinsley, S A, Taylor, A, Harrison, N M (2005): "The Birds of Brampton Wood; the Results from 12 Years of Study" in Collins, T, Dickerson, B, Walker, P E G, Wells, T C E (eds), Brampton Wood - A Natural History. Huntingdonshire Fauna & Flora Society. Witley Press Ltd. Hunstanton.

Harrison, N M, Whitehouse, M J, Prince, P A, and Huin, N (2000): "What problems do local habitat change represent for the Constant Effort Site ringing scheme?" Ringing and Migration 20:1-8.

Russell, R W, Harrison, N M and Hunt, G L, Jr (1999): "Foraging at a front: Hydrography, zooplankton and arian planktivory in the northern Bering Sea". Marine Ecology - Progress Series 182:77-93.

Durazo, R, Harrison, N M, Hill, A E (1998): "Seabird observations at a tidal mixing front in the Irish Sea". Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 47:153-164.

Harrison, N M, Webb, A and Leaper, G (1994): "Patterns in seabird distribution west of Scotland". Aquatic Conservation 4:21-30.

Harrison, N M (1994): "Fisheries Review: with emphasis on nature conservation- fisheries interactions". Marine Environmental Management - Review of events in 1993 and future trends. Vol 1:49-52.

Hunt, G L, Jr, Harrison, N M and Piatt, J F (1993): "Foraging ecology as related to the distribution of planktivorous auklets in the Bering Sea" in Vermeer, K, Briggs KT, Morgan, K H and Siegel-Causey, D (eds), The status, ecology and conservation of marine birds of the North Pacific. Can. Wild. Serv. Spec. Publ, Ottawa.

Grebmeier, J M and Harrison, N M (1992): "Seabird feeding on benthic amphipods facilitated by gray whale activity in the northern Bering Sea". Marine Ecology Progress Series 80:125-133.

Harrison, N M, Whitehouse, M J, Heinemann, D, Prince, P A, Hunt Jnr, G L, and Veit, R R (1991): "Observations of multispecies seabird flocks around South Georgia". Auk 108:801-810.

Harrison, N M, Hunt, G L, Jr, and Cooney R T (1990): "Front affecting the distribution of seabirds in the northern Bering Sea". Polar Res. 8:29-31.

Hunt, G L, Jr, and Harrison, N M (1990): "Foraging habitat and prey taken by least auklets at King Island, Alaska". Marine Ecology Progress Series 65:141-150.

Harrison, N M (1990): "Gelatinous zooplankton in the diet of the Parakeet Auklet:Comparisons with other auklets". Studies in Avian Biology 14: 114-124.

Schneider, D C, Harrison, N M and Hunt, G L, Jr, (1990): "Seabird diet at a front near the Pribilif Islands, Alaska". Studies in Avian Biology 14:61-66.

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