He also picked up the first place trophy at Offshore 2013 in Frankfurt for a poster on “Changing offshore survey methods for seabirds and marine mammals: the need to calibrate.”

Mark’s new poster focussed on APEM’s research into how seabirds behave in and around offshore wind farms, and particularly how likely the birds are to avoid the wind turbines.

Accurate estimates of how seabirds behave around wind farms are vital in assessing any potential impacts of the wind turbines on populations of seabirds.

Research carried out by APEM on behalf of East Anglia Offshore Wind used our ultra-high resolution images from aerial surveys to look in particular at how Northern gannets reacted to the presence of offshore wind farms.

The research found that during their annual autumn migration the birds are more likely than previously thought to strongly avoid the wind turbines.

Gannet in flight

As the ‘avoidance rate’ of the birds is higher, the number of birds researchers estimate would collide with the moving blades of the turbines would be lower than previously expected.

APEM also presented posters at Offshore Wind Europe on how we use aerial surveys to monitor birds on a remote Hawaiian island, our bird and marine surveys for the world’s largest offshore wind farm area off the coast of New York, how offshore wind farms may affect marine wildlife, and the displacement effects of offshore wind farms.

Mark Rehfisch said: “It is great for APEM to get peer-recognition for work based on sound science that helps deliver consent for offshore renewables and provides confidence in outcomes to the regulators.”

Dr Stuart Clough (left) accepts the poster award on behalf of APEM.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr Mark Rehfisch, head of ornithology.
Alternatively you can email them here. Or call 0161 442 8938.