Ann Thornton

Ann Thornton

  • athornton at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
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Following completion of a degree in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation, I spent two enjoyable years working as an Ecological Consultant. I was drawn back to the world of academia by a PhD project which offered the opportunity to work in 'challenging environments'. For the last three years I have spent a great deal of time in, on or beside the mud in Poole Harbour, examining the impact of nutrient input on different trophic levels within the estuarine system.


The development of macro-algal blooms is a global conservation concern (Borja et al. 2012). My PhD research examines the impact of these dense macro-algal mats on the trophic levels within a temperate estuarine ecosystem

Poole Harbour is an internationally and nationally important site for overwintering birds. Macro-algal mats have been an unwelcome feature of the site for a number of years.

Using field observations, sampling, and individual-based models I aim to determine whether dense algal mats are transforming the invertebrate community and ultimately having an impact upon the migratory wading bird population.

Journal Articles


  • Thornton, A., Herbert, R.J.H., Stillman, R.A.S. and Franklin, D., 2015. Does nutrient pollution transform upper trophic levels of estuarine food webs? In: ECSA 55: 55th Conference of Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association 6 September 2015-9 September 2016 ExCel Exhibition Centre Royal Victoria Dock London.
  • Thornton, A., Stillman, R.A., Franklin, D.J., Burton, S. and Herbert, R.J.H., 2015. “Think I’ll go eat worms?”: does nutrient pollution transform upper trophic levels of estuarine food webs? In: Aquatic Biodiversity & Ecosystems Conference: Evolution, interaction and global change 30 August-4 September 2015 Liverpool.
  • Ginige, T., Thornton, A., Ball, F. and Sparks, N., 2010. The severn tidal barrage project: A legal paradox? A case study looking at the possible conflict between climate change policy and environmental legislation in the UK.
  • Ginige, T., Ball, F. and Thornton, A.. Nuclear Power: Ecologically Sustainable or Energy Hot Potato? A case study. In: COBRA 2011 - Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. 2011.


Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Presented research and took part in a Q&A as part of a series of lectures around conservation for members of the U3A.


  • BSc (Hons) in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation (Bournemouth University, 2010)
The data on this page was last updated at 04:03 on August 20, 2018.