About Me

Marie-Attard_Sea-lion-pup_Lewis-Island-1024x767 DR MARIE ATTARD
Postdoctoral Albatross Project Image Analyst
British Antarctic Survey
Ecosystems Team
Email: marie.r.g.attard@gmail.com​

I am a Postdoctoral researcher at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), UK, studying the functional adaptation of pyriform (pear-shaped) seabird eggs. I am actively involved as a collaborator in several studies to assess the ecology and behaviour of birds and mammals.

I am passionate about animal behaviour and conservation management. My career has taken me to many remote and exciting places, including isolated islands and the spectacular landscapes of Antarctica. I am also extremely interested in the collection and analysis of large datasets to explore novel and wide-scale ecological questions.



My previous research focused on how biomechanics and shape of biological structures influences species ecology and evolution. I investigated the relationship between form and function of hard materials – primarily avian eggshells and vertebrate skulls.

Using interdisciplinary techniques, I have published research on a range of topics including vocal recognition in sea lions, diet of extinct species, speech capabilities of Neanderthals and egg mimicry in avian brood parasites. For my PhD, I studied the impact of human activities on the diet and habitat use of Australian marsupial carnivores, including the endangered Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quoll and extinct Tasmanian tiger. I was awarded the Postgraduate Writing and Skills Transfer Scholarship at the end of my PhD for outstanding research. I also completed behavioural studies on mate-guarding male Australian sea lions to determine if they are able to identify each other based on their unique barking calls for my Honours degree.

Follow @MarieRAttard on Twitter if you are interested in my research or wish to be updated on current events and opportunities.


I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Western Sydney, majoring in Environmental Sciences, Biochemistry and Microbiology. I completed my Honours degree in Biological Sciences studying cognition and vocal discrimination among Australian sea lions at Macquarie University. I received an Australian Postgraduate Scholarship to study at the University of New South Wales, where I completed my PhD on the diet of the iconic extinct Tasmanian tiger.

I helped initiate a new research group called the FEAR lab (Function, Evolution and Anatomy Research) at the University of New England with my supervisor after completing my PhD. Here, I worked on an array of amazing research projects as a Research Assistant and Postdoctoral Associate. I moved to the UK to join the University of Sheffield, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences in 2016 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to investigate the adaptive advantage of bizarre cone-shaped eggs laid by the common guillemots, a large seabird that breeds on the edge of cliffs.