David is an MBA Senior Research Fellow and leader of the Behavioural Ecology Group at the Marine Biological Association. As Deputy Director for Research he co-ordinates the Ecosystems and Environmental Change research theme. David holds a joint academic appointment with the University of Southampton where he is Professor of Marine Ecology in the Ocean and Earth Science school at the National Oceanography Centre and in the Centre for Biological Sciences.
In recognition of his research David was awarded a Royal Institution ‘Scientist for the New Century’ Lecture (2001), Life Membership of the Royal Institution, the Medal of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (2007), and the Stanley Gray Silver Medal from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (2008). He has served as series editor for Advances in Marine Biology and associate editor of the Journal of Animal Ecology.
After graduating with a First Class degree in Biological Sciences in 1991 David was awarded a personal PhD studentship from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) leading to a PhD in the behavioural ecology of fish, based in part at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) Laboratory in Plymouth. In 2000, after being Lecturer in zoology at Aberdeen University, David returned to the MBA Laboratory as a NERC-funded Research Fellow. He built up the Behavioural Ecology group with research centred on the movement ecology of predators, a particular focus being to understand how environmental heterogeneity influences fish movement and behaviour patterns.