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Annette Fayet


I’m a DPhil student in the Animal Behaviour Group at the University of Oxford, supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, an Entente Cordiale Scholarship from the British Council, a Mary Griffiths Scholarship and Microsoft Research Cambridge as a Microsoft Research – University of Oxford Scholar.


Before starting my DPhil I was a research assistant for the Oxnav Group on Skomer Island (Wales), where I was mainly involved in the long-term study of the behaviour and ecology of Manx shearwaters, but also took part in various projects including long term tracking of the migratory movements of Atlantic puffins and the use of combined GPS-Salt water immersion loggers to track Common Guillemots during foraging trips.

My DPhil project investigates the at-sea behaviour of pelagic seabirds on long-distance movements (e.g. migration, foraging trips) and their potential life-history consequences, with Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica and Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus as my main study species. I use tracking data (from miniature geolocators or GPS loggers) to study movements and distributions of seabirds at sea, but I also use an etho-infomatics approach to identify different behaviours at sea (e.g. foraging, flight, sitting on the surface). I try to understand how these behaviours are affected by environmental conditions and which consequences they may have on the birds’ fitness. My research aims to understand what drives different individuals to follow different migratory strategies, their potential fitness consequences on individuals and pairs, and how in turn conditions and decisions during the breeding season can affect wintering behaviour.

I am also interested in tracking the at-sea behaviour and movements of juvenile and immature individuals, which are still mysterious in most seabirds. The results may not only help us understand how processes such as learning and exploration can shape the future foraging and migration patterns of adult birds, but could also have important implications for conservation.


After completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, physics and chemistry at the ESPCI ParisTech in Paris, I did a research project in the Behavioural Ecology Group at Cambridge University, where I studied the influence of sexual signals on parental investment in Great tits. I then read a MSc in Biology (Integrative Bioscience) at the University of Oxford, during which I worked in the Oxnav Group, helping to develop a video-based method to study behaviour of birds in flight, and in the Edward Grey Institute, where I studied the variation of vocal repertoire to investigate the role of dispersal as a cultural evolution agent in Great tits. After completing the course, I spent 6 months on Tiritiri Matangi Island, a scientific nature reserve in New Zealand, working for the Department of Conservation and the Institute of Zoology London. I was involved in the Hihi (stitchbird) conservation project and in a research project investigating the influence of parental carotenoid investment on juvenile stitchbirds’ sexual traits.


Fayet, Annette L., Robin Freeman, Akiko Shoji, Oliver Padget, Chris M. Perrins, and Tim Guilford. "Lower foraging efficiency in immatures drives spatial segregation with breeding adults in a long-lived pelagic seabird." Animal Behaviour 110 (2015).

Shoji, A., K. Elliott, A. Fayet, D. Boyle, C. Perrins, and T. Guilford. "Foraging behaviour of sympatric razorbills and puffins." Marine Ecology Progress Series 520 (2015): 257-267.

Shoji, Akiko, Ellie Owen, Mark Bolton, Ben Dean, Holly Kirk, Annette Fayet, Dave Boyle, Robin Freeman, Chris Perrins, Stéphane Aris-Brosou et al. "Flexible foraging strategies in a diving seabird with high flight cost." Marine Biology (2014).

Fayet, Annette L., Joseph A. Tobias, Rogier E. Hintzen, and Nathalie Seddon. "Immigration and dispersal are key determinants of cultural diversity in a songbird population." Behavioral Ecology 25, no. 4 (2014).

Johnstone, R. A., A. Manica, A. L. Fayet, M. C. Stoddard, M. A. Rodriguez-Girones, and C. A. Hinde. "Reciprocity and conditional cooperation between great tit parents." Behavioral Ecology 25, no. 1 (2014).

Stoddard, M. C., A. L. Fayet, R. M. Kilner, and C. A. Hinde. "Egg Speckling Patterns Do Not Advertise Offspring Quality or Influence Male Provisioning in Great Tits." PLoS ONE 7, no. 7 (2012).

Guilford, T., R. Wynn, M. McMinn, A. Rodríguez, A. Fayet, L. Maurice, A. Jones, and R. Meier. "Geolocators Reveal Migration and Pre-Breeding Behaviour of the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus." PLoS ONE 7, no. 3 (2012): e33753.

Contact Details


Annette Fayet
Department of Zoology
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PS