Born in the United Kingdom, Dr. Tom Hart is a question-driven ecologist with specialism in the Polar Regions. In particular, He seeks to answer ecological questions about edge of range effects in changing environments. He has spent ten years developing semi-automated monitoring and deploying cameras in the poles, which are having increasing impact through publications and policy.
He leads the Polar Ecology Research Group at the University of Oxford, where he studies penguins to help conserve them, but also shags in the Southern Ocean and kittiwakes and guillemots in the Arctic.
Tom first went South during his PhD on Macaroni Penguin foraging behavior with the British Antarctic Survey, where he instantly fell in love with South Georgia. His love of the Antarctic Peninsula came a few years later. He now tackles the data gaps that are needed to manage Antarctica head on; counting the Danger Islands, the South Sandwich Islands and the need to understand and manage the krill fishery.
He monitors penguin colonies all year-round using time-lapse cameras, A.I. and citizen science (www.penguinwatch.org). Since it launched in September 2014, Penguin Watch has had 8 million hits and changed the way we can monitor the Polar Regions. The point of all these new techniques is to better monitor remote areas and to prioritize those that are under strain in order to create effective protected areas and fisheries management. His main loves in the Polar Regions are South Georgia and Macaroni Penguins; South Georgia because it is amazing and macaroni penguins because they share his special outlook on life. In his spare time, Tom sails and packrafts, recently crossing Iceland by packraft and foot and cruising up the West coast of Greenland.