Phil’s research has used ecological science and indigenous and local knowledge to interpret changes in demographic trends and abundance of wildlife populations (e.g. terrestrial and marine birds). The key focus of his research has been on climatic and anthropogenic (e.g. harvest) drivers of population change, and the development of models to forecast population trends. He has expertise in interpreting ecosystem structure and function within scientific and indigenous worldviews, in particular the ways that different cultures ‘sense’ the environment.