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Richard Yarnell

Richard Yarnell

Associate Professor

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Dr Yarnell is the Leader of the Ecology and Conservation Research Group and REF2021 Unit of Assessment Co-ordinator for C14 Geography and Environmental Studies. He also teaches undergraduate modules including Wildlife Management and the African Field Course, and the Postgraduate module Protected Species Surveying. His research interests lie within the broad field of ecology and conservation.

Career overview

Competitive fully funded PhD studentships are available via Please email to discuss projects in the area of ecology and conservation.

CEO, Badger Trust

Ecologist, Central Science Laboratory (Now Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Research areas

Areas of research interest include:

  • carnivore ecology and conservation
  • population dynamics of small mammals
  • focal species include brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea) and the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

Current PhD students:

  • Anthony Seveque (Started 2017) Trophic Cascades: the role of apex predators in Europe’s modern human- dominated landscapes.
  • Jessica Schaus-Calderon (Started 2017) Using the Random Encounter Model (REM) to estimate rural and urban hedgehog population size.
  • Katie Lee (50% Matched funding PTES/NTU)(Started 2017): Untangling the roles of prey availability, habitat quality and predation as predictors of hedgehog abundance.
  • Shashank Balakrishna (Started 2018): Barn owl breeding success.
  • Robert Davis (Started 2016) Leopard ecology and conservation in Malawi – In collaboration with Carnivore Research Malawi and Dr Emma Stone.
  • Lauren Moore (50% Matched funding PTES/NTU) (Started 2019): Understanding and mitigating the impacts of roads on hedgehogs.
  • Bethany Smith (Started 2020): Livestock guarding dogs and African carnivores
  • Richard Wilkinson (Started 2019): The impact of invasive mammals on Arctic tern breeding success

Past PhD students:

  • Louisa Richmond-Coggan (Brown hyaena conservation in South Africa)
  • Holly Root-Gutteridge (Bioacoustics of wolf howls)
  • Louis Phipps (Conservation of Gyps vultures in Southern Africa)
  • Tim Stratton (Using personality to improve species reintroduction success)
  • Esther Kettel (A comparison of urban and rural behaviours in the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus))
  • Oluseun Akinsorotan (Impacts of illegal human activities on mammal occupancy in Old Oyo National Park, Nigeria)

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Science exist, and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

Dr Yarnell is a member of:

He is also a reviewer for the following Journals: PLoS ONE, Journal of Mammalogy, European Journal of Wildlife Research, Journal of Zoology, Oecologia, and Ecological Applications.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is conducted with the collaboration, funding and / or support of:


Ecologists need robust survey designs, sampling and analytical methods. Hayward MW, Boitani L, Burrows ND, Funston PJ, Ullas Karanth K, MacKenzie DI, Pollock KH, Yarnell R, Journal of Applied Ecology, 2015, 52 (2), 286-290

Evidence that vulture restaurants increase the local abundance of mammalian carnivores in South Africa. Yarnell RW, Phipps WL, Dell S, MacTavish LM and Scott D, African Journal of Ecology, 2014, 53 (3), 287-294

Using occupancy analysis to validate the use of footprint tunnels as a method for monitoring the hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus. Yarnell RW, Williams B, Neumann JL, Rymer DJ and Baker PJ, Mammal Review, 2014, 44 (3-4), 234-238

Improving individual identification in captive Eastern Grey Wolves (Canis lupus lycaon) using the time course of howl amplitudes. Root-Gutteridge H, Bencsik M, Chebli M, Gentle LK, Terrell-Nield C, Bourit A and Yarnell RW, Bioacoustics, 2014, 23 (1), 39-53

Evaluation of the performance and accuracy of Global Positioning System bug transmitters deployed on a small mammal. Glasby L and Yarnell RW, European Journal of Wildlife Research, 2013, 59 (6), 915-919

Do power lines and protected areas present a catch-22 situation for Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres)? Phipps L, Wolter M, MacTavish L and Yarnell RW, PLoS ONE, 2013, 8 (10), e76794

Identifying indicators of illegal behaviour: carnivore killing in human-managed landscapes. St. John FAV, Edwards-Jones G, Keane A, Jones L, Yarnell RW and Jones JPG, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2011, 279 (1729), 804-812

Untangling the roles of fire, grazing and rainfall on small mammal communities in grassland ecosystems. Yarnell RW, Scott DM, Chimimba CT & Metcalfe DJ, Oecologia, 2007, 154, 387-402

Breeding performance of an apex predator, the peregrine falcon, across urban and rural landscapes. KETTEL, E.F., GENTLE, L.K., YARNELL, R.W. and QUINN, J.L., 2018. Urban Ecosystems. ISSN 1083-8155

Reduced occupancy of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in rural England and Wales: the influence of habitat and an asymmetric intra-guild predator. WILLIAMS, B.M., BAKER, P.J., THOMAS, E., WILSON, G., JUDGE, J. and YARNELL, R.W., 2018. Scientific Reports, 8 (1): 12156. ISSN 2045-2322

The breeding performance of raptors in urban landscapes: a review and meta-analysis. KETTEL, E.F., GENTLE, L.K., QUINN, J.L. and YARNELL, R.W., 2017. Journal of Ornithology. ISSN 2193-7206

See all of Richard Yarnell's publications...

Press expertise

  • Conservation
  • Wildlife
  • Hedgehogs
  • Hyaena
  • Badgers
  • Wildlife management