Dr Graeme Shannon
Location: 304 ECW Building
Tel: 01248 382318
My research interests are in the fields of animal behaviour, ecology and conservation, with particular focus on the effects of human activities on wildlife, animal cognition and the behavioural ecology of large herbivores. I have studied African elephants for over a decade, addressing questions on foraging and movement ecology as well as investigating the detailed social and ecological knowledge of elephant family groups and their matriarchs. The research that I have conducted on elephant cognition has involved extensive use of acoustic playbacks, whereby animal vocalisations are broadcast to study the responses of elephants to social and ecological threats. More recently, I have applied these playback techniques to understand the effects of anthropogenic noise - a growing source of environmental disturbance - on animal behavior and wildlife ecology. I am also interested in the role that large herbivores play in ecosystem function and structure in natural and human altered habitats.
I conducted my PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) on the effects of sexual dimorphism on the movement and foraging behavior of African elephants. After graduating in 2006 I carried out two distinct postdoctoral research projects, 1) the role of elephants and fire in savanna dynamics (University of KwaZulu-Natal), and 2) exploring the cognitive abilities of wild elephants in Kenya and South Africa (University of Sussex). In July 2012 I moved to the US to pursue a 2.5-year postdoctoral fellowship at Colorado State University exploring the effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife ecology and behavior. On returning to the UK in late 2014, I spent 8 months as a research associate at the University of Liverpool before joining the School of Biological Sciences in November 2015.