Sunny Bradbury


PhD studentSunny Bradbury


My background is in marine biology, specifically the ecology of temperate reef ecosystems and fish biology. I graduated with a Bsc (Hons) in Marine and Freshwater Biology at Aberystwyth University in 2014 and have since completed a Masters by Research looking to identify patterns of genetic structuring in the kelp Alaria esculenta. This project allowed the focus of my research to move from ecology to evolutionary biology and specifically population genetics.

Since moving to the Highlands to pursue a PhD I have focussed on the integration of two distinct research methods to study local adaptation and genetic variation in wild populations of Atlantic salmon. In brief, I am attempting to elucidate fine-scale patterns of genetic structuring within the species using a suite of highly polymorphic microsatellite loci. I hope to combine this data with real-time smolt migration data captured using Passive Integrated Transponder technology. There is a significant amount of fieldwork involved in carrying out this project and I have been working closely with local fishery trusts to ascertain realistic management units and within river patterns of smolt movement. Upon completion I hope that we can start to look more closely at the influence of habitat complexity and continuity on local adaptation within the species. 

Research Interests

  • the integration of genetics and telemetry to inform fisheries management
  • population genetic structure
  • fish migration
  • climate change ecology

Current projects

Integrating genetics and tracking to inform conservation management of Atlantic salmon.

Past projects

Microsatellites reveal multiple hotspots of Genetic Diversity in Alaria esculenta, an important habitat forming Kelp under threat from Climate Change.