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Oliver Padget



Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, now Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool


I completed a B.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Nottingham in 2013, before completing a D.Phil. in Zoology at the University of Oxford in 2018. My D.Phil. research examined some of the sensory aspects underpinning navigation in seabirds, and some of the causes and consequences of a long-lived life-history strategy in Procellariiform seabirds.

Research Interests

I have broad interests in the mechanisms underpinning animal behaviour, in particular how the behavioural processes govern animals’ interactions with their environment. Currently, my research focuses on how animals learn, encode and use spatial information to navigate and exploit resources in their environment. This combines theoretical and empirical work. For experimentation, I employ seabirds as models for animal navigation. Seabirds are nature’s greatest navigators, routinely travelling many thousands of miles on foraging trips during breeding. They are also long lived and so accumulate experience over their lives, potentially allowing us to examine the ontogeny and, through manipulations and natural experiments, the functionality of their cognitive representation of space.

As a side project, I am also interested in the conservation of the Balearic Shearwater, Europe’s only critically endangered seabird. I am part of a team investigating the demography and foraging behaviour of the species with a view to informing fisheries policy in the western Mediterranean where it is caught as bycatch.


Selected publications

J. Wynn, O Padget, J Morford, P Jaggers, K Davies, E Borsier, T Guilford (2022). How might magnetic secular variation impact avian philopatry? Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology


O. Padget, N. Gillies, M. Syposz, E. Lockley & T.Guilford. (2022) Shearwaters sometimes take long homing detours when denied outward journey information. Biology Letters.


J. Wynn, O. Padget, H. Mouritsen, J. Morford, P. Jaggers & T. Guilford. (2022) Magnetic stop signs signal a European songbird’s arrival at the breeding site after migration. Science.


T. Guilford/O. Padget (joint first & corresponding), L. Maurice & P. Catry. (2022) Unexpectedly deep diving in an albatross. Current Biology.


Deakin et al. (2022). Decline of leach’s storm petrels Hydrobatees leucorhous at the largest colonies in the northeast Atlantic. Seabird.


S.C. Patrick, J.D. Assink, M. Basille, S. Clusella-Trullas, T.A. Clay, O.F.C. den Ouden, R. Joo, J. N. Zeyl, S. Benhamou, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, L.G. Evers, A.L. Fayet, C. Köppl, E. P. Malkemper, L.M. Martín López, O. Padget, R.A. Phillips, M.K. Prior, P.S.M. Smets, E.E. van Loon. (2021). Infrasound as a cue for seabird navigation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.


J. Wynn, T. Guilford, O. Padget, C.M. Perrins, N. McKee, N. Gillies, C. Tyson, B. Dean, H. Kirk, A. L. Fayet (2021). Early‐life development of contrasting outbound and return migration routes in a long‐lived seabird. Ibis.


M. Syposz, O. Padget, Jay Willis, Benjamin M. Van Doren, Natasha Gillies, Annette L. Fayet, Matt J. Wood, Aaron Alejo & Tim Guilford. Avoidance of different durations, colours and intensities of artificial light by adult seabirds. (2021). Scientific Reports. 


C. Newport, O. Padget and T. Burt de Perera. (2021). Scientific Reports.


M. Syposz, O. Padget, J. Wynn, N. Gillies, A. Fayet and T. Guilford. (2021). An assay to investigate factors influencing initial orientation in nocturnally fledging seabirds. Journal of Avian Biology.


J.A. Phillips, A. Banks, M. Bolton, T. Brereton, N. Gillies, O. Padget, J. van der Kooij, J. Waggitt & T. Guilford. (2021). Evidence for a non-breeding season hot-spot for the critically endangered Balearic shearwater in UK waters. Ecology and Evolution. 


C. Perrins, O. Padget, M. O’Connell, R. Brown, B. Büche, G. Eagle, J. Roden, E. Stubbings & M. Wood (2021). A census of breeding Manx shearwaters on the Pembrokeshire Islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Midland in 2018. Seabird.


J. Wynn, J. Collet, Aurélien Prudor, A. Corbeau, O. Padget, T. Guilford and H. Weimerskirch. (2020). Proc. Roy. Soc. B.


N. Gillies, A. L. Fayet, O. Padget, M. Syposz, J. Wynn, S. Bond, J. Evry, H. Kirk, A. Shoji, B. Dean, R. Freeman & T. Guilford. Short-term behavioural impact contrasts with long-term fitness consequences of biologging in a long-lived seabird. Scientific Reports, 10, 15056. 2020


J. Wynn, O. Padget, H. Mouritsen, C. Perrins and T. Guilford. Natal imprinting to the Earth’s magnetic field in a pelagic seabird. Current Biology. 2020.


F. Ventura, J.P. Granadeiro, O. Padget and P. Catry. Gadfly petrels use knowledge of the windscape, not memorised foraging patches, to optimise foraging trips on ocean-wide scales. (2020). Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


O. Padget, G. Stanley,, J.K. Willis, A. Fayet, S. Bond, L. Maurice, A. Shoji, B. Dean, H. Kirk, I. Juarez-Martinez, R. Freeman, M. Bolton and T. Guilford. (2019). Shearwaters know the direction and distance home, but fail to encode intervening obstacles after free-ranging foraging trips. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


C. Richards, O. Padget, T. Guilford and A. Bates. (2019). Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) rafting behavior revealed by GPS-tracking and behavioural observations.  PeerJ. 2019.


T. Guilford, O. Padget, S. Bond and M. Syposz. (2019). Light pollution causes object collisions during local nocturnal manoeuvring flight by adult Manx shearwaters (Puffinus puffinus). Seabird.


O. Padget, J. Morford, A. Ward, J.M. Zamora-Marin, A. Zamora-Lopez, M. Leon-Ortega, F.A. Garcia-Castellanos and A. Lowe. (2019). Extra-pair nest visitation in the European nightjar. Bird Study.


J. Behnke, A. Bajer, J. Behnke-Borowczyk, N. Clisham, F. Gilbert, A. Glover, L. Jeffery, J. Kirk, E.J. Mierzejewska, S. Mills, E. Mohallal, O. Padget, R. Wainer and S. Zalat. (2019). Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in helminth infracommunities of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus) in St. Katherine’s Protectorate, Sinai, Egypt. Parasitology.


O. Padget, S. Bond, M.M. Kavelaars, E.E. van Loon, M. Bolton, S. Roberts, A. Fayet and T. Guilford. (2018) In-situ clock-shift reveals involvement of sun-compass navigation of a wild, pelagic seabird. Current Biology, 28. 275-279.


S. Oppel, M. Bolton, Ana P.B. Carneiro, M. Dias, J. Green, J. Masello, R. Phillips et al. (2018). Spatial scales of marine conservation management for breeding seabirds. Marine Policy


O. Padget, G. Dell’Ariccia, A. Gagliardo, J. Gonzalez-Solis and T. Guilford. (2017). Anosmia impairs homing orientation but not foraging in shearwaters. Scientific Reports, 7, e9668.


A. Fayet, R. Freeman, A. Shoji, O. Padget, C. Perrins and T. Guilford. (2016). Lower foraging efficiency in immatures drives spatial segregation with breeding adults in a long-lived pelagic seabird. Animal Behaviour.


A. Fayet, R. Freeman, A. Shoji, H. Kirk, O. Padget, C.M. Perrins and T. Guilford. (2016). Carry-over effects on the annual cycle of a migratory seabird: an experimental study. Journal of Animal Ecology.


A. Shoji, S. Aris-Brosou, A. Fayet, O. Padget, C. M. Perrins and T. Guilford. (2015). Dual foraging and pair coordination during chick provisioning by Manx shearwaters: empirical evidence supported by a simple model. Journal of Experimental Biology.


A. Shoji, S. Aris-Brosou, A. Culina, A. Fayet, H. Kirk, O. Padget, I. Juarez-Martinez, D. Boyle, T. Nakata, C.M. Perrins and T. Guilford. (2016). Breeding phenology and winter activity predict subsequent breeding success in a trans-global migratory seabird. Biology Letters.

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