There are two major challenges that shape Mark's research. First, the rate of species extinction on Earth is rapidly approaching estimates from previous mass-extinction events. The consequences of this are not only the intrinsic loss of the diversity of wildlife on earth but also the services these organisms provide for humans. Mark's work focuses on providing a scientific evidence base to guide management of wildlife in these challenging times. Second, providing enough food for people (Food Security) is of major societal importance but if it is not to directly conflict with biodiversity loss then there is a need for sustainable farming.
Work earlier in his career focused on understanding the ecology and behaviour of a range of organisms with a central focus on vertebrates (especially birds). Mark continues to try and understand the ecology, particularly foraging ecology and predation risk, of a range of species. However, he has also become increasingly interested in interdisciplinary work for example: (i) how management aimed at wildlife affects a range of other metrics (e.g. social metrics such as poverty and other environmental metrics, such as soil); (ii) the human benefits of wildlife both in monetary and non-monetary terms.