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Beth Smith

Beth Smith

PhD candidate

School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Animal and Equine


Beth Smith is a PhD candidate in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Nottingham Trent University where she researches the ecological effects of using livestock guarding dogs. She is supervised by Dr Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, Dr Richard Yarnell and Dr Antonio Uzal.

Career overview

Before joining Nottingham Trent to conduct her PhD research, Beth completed a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (2013-2016) and an MRes in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation from Imperial College London (2017-2018). Throughout her undergraduate studies Beth spent the summers working as a field assistant in Ontario, Canada studying the ecological linkages between land and freshwater lakes. Between finishing her undergraduate degree and starting her master’s, Beth worked on several research projects including studying the long-term population dynamics of midges in Lake Mývatn, Iceland and snow-tracking wolves, lynx, and wolverine in Finland. After completing her MRes, Beth took up the role of Data & Information Officer for the UK’s Mammal Society, helping to coordinate national citizen science projects and analyse the resulting data. In particular, Beth helped write and develop the RMarkdown and Shiny code for Ecobat, the Mammal Society’s free online tool for automated bat activity analysis.

Research areas

Beth’s background is in ecology and wildlife conservation. She is particularly interested in carnivore conservation and the effects of free-roaming domestic dogs on wildlife. For her PhD research Beth is studying the ecological consequences of using livestock guarding dogs to protect agricultural produce from predatory wildlife and the use of these dogs to facilitate human-carnivore coexistence.

In addition to her PhD research, Beth is part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers - the Canid Howl Project – who are developing passive acoustic monitoring techniques to track vocal wildlife species. At present, this research focuses on wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs, but with plans to extend to monitoring gibbons in Vietnam.

Previous research:

  • European hedgehog behavioural responses to artificial light at night (ALAN)
  • Human disturbance of brown bears in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
  • Application of eDNA monitoring for water voles and American mink in the UK
  • Effect of tube-building on development of Chironomid midges
  • Ecosystem engineering capabilities of freshwater mussels

External activity

Beth is the Student Representative for the Mammal Society coordinating the annual University Mammal Challenge (UMAC) and running a Student of the Month feature to showcase the research of students working on British mammals.

Sponsors and collaborators

Previous research has been conducted with the collaboration, funding and/or support of:


Finch, D., Smith, B.R., Marshall, C., Coomber, F.G., Kubasiewicz, L.M., Anderson, M., Wright, P.G. and Mathews, F., 2020. Effects of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) on European Hedgehog Activity at Supplementary Feeding Stations. Animals, 10(5), p.768.

Crawley, D., Coomber, F., Kubasiewicz, L., Harrower, C., Evans, P., Waggitt, J., Smith, B.R. and Matthews, F. eds., 2020. Atlas of the Mammals of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Pelagic Publishing Ltd.

Tanentzap, A.J. and Smith, B.R., 2018. Unintentional rewilding: lessons for trophic rewilding from other forms of species introductions. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 373(1761), p.20170445.

Smith, B.R., Aldridge, D.C. and Tanentzap, A.J., 2018. Mussels can both outweigh and interact with the effects of terrestrial to freshwater resource subsidies on littoral benthic communities. Science of The Total Environment, 622, pp.49-56.