Pia completed her Masters thesis in zoology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, on niche differentiation of cetaceans in the North Atlantic in 2002. Her PhD focused on conservation genetics and ecology, investigating the stock structure of North Atlantic minke whales, their habitat use with respect to fixed and temporally variable environmental parameters off the west coast of Scotland, and their foraging behaviour, including interactions with seabirds. While working on her thesis, Pia served as database officer / analyst for the Sea Watch Foundation (UK), analysing long-term trends in cetacean distribution and abundance. She has ten years field research experience undertaking behavioural studies, photo-identification and line-transect surveys for marine mammals mainly in the Irish Sea and NW Scotland.
Pia joined the CMRC in March 2010 and is currently employed as project leader for the Marine Mammal Monitoring Programme in Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo. Her tasks include the analysis of data collected since 2002 and coordinating the ongoing year-round collection of field data, combining land-based observations, line-transect surveys, photo-ID and passive acoustic monitoring.