My research focus is on investigating how modern challenges, such as urban expansion, persecution, and noise pollution impact wildlife.
Much of my work involves close interaction with ecological practitioners, with the aim of creating practical and sustainable solutions to human – wildlife conflict.
Area of expertise
I am a conservation biologist with expertise in a range of human-wildlife conflicts including:
Understanding the impact of wind power on bat populations
Working on the National Bats and Wind Turbines project with colleagues at the University of Exeter we undertook the first assessment of the risks to bat populations from wind turbines in Great Britain. We used these results, in collaboration with the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations, Bat Conservation Trust, and wind energy developers, to produce new guidance for the surveying of commercial wind farms. Additionally, our research on the effectiveness of ecological impact assessments to predict the risk of bat casualties at wind farms received international news coverage upon its release (e.g. New York Times, Guardian, BBC, Financial Times, Washington Post and Daily Telegraph).
Assessing the effectiveness of mitigation strategies
Despite the relatively wide spread use of artificial bat roosts as both a mitigation strategy and habitat enhancement, there is relatively little research on its effectiveness. Working with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) we have been using ecological consultancy data to assess the effectiveness of bat mitigation in buildings. Alongside contributing to the evidence base, I will be working with CIEEM, the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations, and the Bat Conservation Trust to establish methods that will improve the collection and reporting of ecological data.
The distribution of wildlife within the urban landscape
During my PhD at the University of Stirling I conducted research on the impact of the built environment on bat and moth populations. This included determining strong sexual differences in the use of fragmented urban woodland by bats, the influence of vegetation characteristics and the surrounding landscape on moth species richness, abundance and diversity, and working with the Bat Conservation Trust to use citizen science data to assess species-specific differences to urban areas.