Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr Megan Murgatroyd

Dr Megan Murgatroyd

John Day Building: 1.02
Tel: 021 650 3292
Fax: +27 21 650 3295


Megan completed her undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology in Bristol at the University of the West of England, with her dissertation assessing heavy metal contamination of raptor feathers. With a keen taste for travel she also spent time in Namibia assisting on research into the effects of diamond mining on the Damara tern.

After completion of her BSc Honours, Megan flew south again and this time landed on her feet in the Cederberg Mountains. This was the beginning of her doctoral journey with the FitzPatrick Institute and the Animal Demography Unit and also the development of a passion for large raptors. Megan has recently submitted her thesis entitled “Ecology of the Verreaux’s eagle Aquila verreauxii in natural and agriculturally transformed habitats in South Africa”. Her study investigated the differences in breeding productivity, diet and movement ecology of two contrasting populations. Broadly speaking, she found that eagles in the agriculturally transformed study area breed more successfully, have more diverse diets and do not appear to be under higher energetic demand than those in a natural environment.

Megan is now based in the Fitz as a Post-doctoral fellow where she is part of the Raptor Research Programme. Building on fine-scale GPS tracking work she started during her PhD, Megan will now be focusing on turbine placement and collision mitigation for Verreaux’s eagles and well as looking after the already established martial eagle project in the Kruger National Park.

Peer-reviewed publications

Murgatroyd, M., Redpath, S.M., Murphy, S.G., Douglas, D.J.T., Saunders, R. and Amar, A. 2019. Patterns of satellite tagged Hen Harrier disappearances suggest widespread illegal killing in British grouse moors. Nature Communications 10(94).

Murgatroyd,  M., Roos, S., Evans, R., Sansom, A., Whitfield, D.P., Sexton, D., Reid, R., Grant, J. and Amar, A. 2018. Sex-specific patterns of reproductive senescence in a longlived reintroduced raptor. Journal of Animal Ecology 87(6):1587-1599.

Murgatroyd M., Photopoulou, T., Bouten, W., Underhill, L. and Amar, A. 2018. Where eagles soar: fine resolution tracking reveals the spatiotemporal use of differential soaring modes in a large raptor. Ecology and Evolution 8(13):6788-6799. 

Leos-Barajas, V., Photopoulou, T., Patterson, T.A., Langrock, R., Watanabe, Y., Murgatroyd, M. and Papastamatiou, Y.P. 2017. Analysis of animal accelerometer data using hidden Markov models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8(2):161-173. 

Murgatroyd, M., Avery, G., Underhill, G. and Amar, A. 2016. Adaptability of a specialist predator: The effects of land use on diet diversification and breeding performance of Verreaux's eagles. Journal of Avian Biology 47:834-845. 

Murgatroyd, M., Underhill, L., Rodrigues, L. and Amar, A. 2016. The influence of agricultural transformation on the breeding performance of a top predator: Verreaux’s eagles in contrasting land use areas. The Condor. 118:238-252.

Murgatroyd, M., Underhill, L., Bouten, W. and Amar, A. 2016. Ranging behaviour of Verreaux’s Eagles during the pre-breeding period determined through the use of high temporal resolution tracking. PlosOne. 11(10): e0163378.