The Environment team currently use investigations into avian and mammalian ecology to inform theoretical and practical approaches to the field of biodiversity conservation. Our investigations can be broadly categorised as:
- quantifying how animals utilise human dominated landscapes, which is achieved through the deployment and analysis of animal tracking devices
- development of novel methods to monitor populations for conservation
- how animal behaviour can be used to derive conservation benefits for species.
Current focal species include barn owls, house sparrows, hedgehogs and small mammals in the UK, and threatened vultures and carnivores in Africa.
Current and recent projects, funders and collaborators include:
- habitat use and threats to Gyps vultures in South Africa
- South Africa's brown hyaena in collaboration with Earthwatch Institute
- habitat use of hedgehogs in rural landscapes
- non-invasive methods to monitor hedgehog populations in the UK in collaboration with the Mammal Society and funded by The People's Trust for Endangered Species
- identifying individual wolves from their vocalisations
- habitat use of water shrews
- factors affecting productivity in the house sparrow
- diet analysis of barn owls
- starvation-predation trade-off in the great tit
- nesting success of peregrine falcons.
- Identifying indicators of illegal behaviour: carnivore killing in human-managed landscapes. St. John, Edwards-Jones, Keane, Jones, Yarnell and Jones, Proc. R. Soc. B, 2011
- Comparative Efficacy of Sign Surveys, Spotlighting and Audio Playbacks in a Landscape-Scale Carnivore Survey. Thorn, Green, Bateman, Cameron, Yarnell and Scott, South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 2010, 40 (1), 77 - 86
- An assessment of diet overlap of two mesocarnivores in the North-West Province, South Africa. van der Merwe, Tambling, Thorn, Scott, Yarnell, Green, Cameron and Bateman, African Zoology, 2009, 44 (2), 288-291
- The effect of fire induced habitat modification on short-snouted sengi (Elephantulus brachyrhynchus) behaviour. Yarnell, Metcalfe, Dunstone, Burnside and Scott, African Zoology, 2008, 43 (1), 45-52
- Characterization of 38 microsatellite loci in the European blackbird, Turdus merula (Turdidae, AVES). Simeoni M, Dawson DA, Gentle LK, Coiffait L, Wolff K, Evans KL, Gaston KJ & Hatchwell BJ, Molecular Ecology Resources, 2009, 9(6), 1520-1526.
- Characterisation of spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) microsatellite loci. Wilhelm K, Dawson DA, Gentle LK, Horsefield GF, Scholtterer C, Greig C, East M, Hofer H, Tautz D & Burke T, Molecular Ecology Notes, 2003, 3, 360-362.
- Microsatellite loci in the crested newt (Triturus cristatus) and their utility in other newt taxa. Krupa AP, Jehle R, Dawson, DA, Gentle LK, Gibbs M, Arntzen JW & Burke T, Conservation Genetics, 2002, 3, 85-87.
- The effects of altering perceived predation risk on the fat reserves of wild Great Tits, Parus major. Gentle LK & Gosler AG Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, 2001, 268, 487-491.
- Conditioning pigeons to discriminate naturally lit insect specimens. Green PR, Gentle LK, Peake TM, Scudamore RE, McGregor PK, Gilbert F & Dittrich WH, Behavioural Processes, 1999, 46, 97-102.