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, reintroduction biology, population dynamics, spatial ecology, intra-guild competition, diet, territorial amplification behaviour, 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 on 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 where I continued my work on prey preferences of large predators, as well as conducted field work on European bison. 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.
I’m now a senior lecturer in conservation at Bangor University in North Wales where I run a module on wildlife ecology and conservation, and a field trip to South Africa. I also teach in to several other modules. I also spend time in editorial roles for Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Journal of Applied Ecology, Journal of Zoology, Conservation Letters, Mammalian Biology, African Journal of Wildlife Research, and Endangered Species Research. I currently have post graduate students working on wolves in Croatia, leopard conflict in South Africa, reviewing reintroductions in South Africa, threatened beetle research in South Africa, corridor use by peccaries in Belize, spatial ecology of large mammals in East Africa, and predator prey preferences. I’m always happy to be contacted by potential post-graduate students to discuss research projects.