In person: Room G2a, Thoday Bld, Deniol Rd, Bangor
Phone: +44(0)1248 383642
I am interested in the conservation ecology of threatened species, the factors that threaten them and the methods we can use to effectively conserve them. I have researched these conservation issues in the UK, Australia, South Africa and Poland on marsupials, rodents, reptiles, invertebrates, ungulates and large predators. I have published on predator-prey interactions and here (and a video here and here), reintroduction biology, population dynamics, spatial ecology, intra-guild competition, diet, territorial amplification, conservation benchmarks, bushmeat hunting, conservation effectiveness and IUCN status assessments. I also have experience in conservation management (reintroduction, tourist impacts, pest animal control, conservation fencing, fire management) and have sat on several Australian threatened species recovery teams.
I conducted a PhD on the conservation ecology of the vulnerable quokka Setonix brachyurus – a small wallaby that the introduced red fox loves to kill – in the Western Australian jarrah forest. I then conducted two post docs in South Africa; the first on bushmeat hunting in the coastal forests of the Transkei with the Walter Sisulu University, and the second at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to study the reintroduction of lions, spotted hyaenas and a leopard to Addo Elephant National Park. After this I undertook a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Polish Academy of Science's Mammal Research Institute in Białowieża Primeval Forest. Most recently, I was the Australian Wildlife Conservancy's regional ecologist for six reserves in south-eastern Australia covering over 700,000ha and ranging from the deserts of Lake Eyre through the mallee to Sydney's North Head where reintroduction, ecosystem services, feral eradication/control and fire management were key research issues. The Wordle below, based on the titles of my publications, provides a flavour of the research I do.
I currently supervise PhD students looking at:
- Conservation ecology of the spiny-tailed lizard Uromastyx aegyptia
microlepis in Kuwait (Wafa'a Behbehani)
- Are the impacts of apex predators context dependent using wolf ecology in Croatia (Pete Haswell)
- Designing corridors for large African mammals (Ludmila Osipova – co-supervised with Niko Balkenhol of Goettingen University, Germany).
- How do leopards persist in agricultural landscapes of South Africa (Carolyn Devens - co-supervised with Michael Somers of the University of Pretoria, South Africa)
- Designing corridors for conservation based on the spatial ecology of key focal species (Maarten Hofman - co-supervised with Niko Balkenhol of Gottingen University, Germany)
- Accounting for detectability in studies of Neotropical primates (Lilian Sales - co-supervised with Fabiano de Melo of the Federal University of Goias, Brazil)
- The effects of reintroducing fossorial marsupials on invertebrate communities (Nicole Coggan - co-supervised with Heloise Gibb of La Trobe University, Australia)
My current cohort of Masters students are looking at:
- The role of apex predators in structuring the spatial behaviour of mesopredators (Emily O'Regan)
- The role of personality in the outcome of reintroductions using red squirrels as a case study (Jack Bamber)
- The impact of snare-proof collars on African wild dog survivorship (Laura Dibb)
- Pine marten dietary ecology (Alex Grabham)
- Vulture roosting preferences in Botswana (Tom Balague)
- Drivers of hunting success in herons (Josh Bartlett)
Some of the research projects conducted by Alumni of the group are:
- Do the mobile ear pinnae of ungulates serve a predator detection function in addition to sound detection? (Kaylah de Jager)
- Predicting the settling location and areas of impact of reintroduced Eurasian beavers (Matthew Boa)
- The ecomorphology of Colophon beetles in South Africa (Thea Eldred, Katie Fincken, Declan Murphy)
- The prey preferences of jackals (Laura Porter)
- The country-level drivers of data deficiency (Ash-Lynn Rai)
- Estimating the age of Pantherine felids (Ellie Barley)
- Oregon State University – Trophic Cascades Program (Bill Ripple), 2015 – on-going (http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/index.php).
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 2008 – 2017 (http://ace.nmmu.ac.za/Staff)
- University of Pretoria, 2010-2017