Professor of Conservation Biology, University of East Anglia

I am a conservation biologist with eclectic research interests mainly at interdisciplinary boundaries. Much of my current research concerns emerging zoonotic diseases such as SARS, HPAI H5N1 and Ebola and the roles of introduced pathogens and wildlife trade in biodiversity loss. This has recently involved collaboration with The Genome Centre TGAC and colleages at the Institute of Zoology to sequence the genomes of the endangered Mauritius Pink Pink Nesoenas mayeri (Mohammed Albeshr) and the protozoan Trichomonas gallinae (Abdul alrefaei). Another of my PhD students, Simon Poulton, is investigating altitudinal variation in small mammals and their pathogens in the Nepali Himalayas.

Historically my overseas research has been primarily aimed at helping to identify long-term management plans to minimise biodiversity loss in critically threatened grassland and forest refugial habitats in Mexico, the Indian sub-continent, S.E. Asia and islands of the Indical Ocean. My UK research has used the European wild rabbit as a model species to investigate inter-relationships among population dynamics, behavioural ecology, reproduction, genetics, parasites/disease and species/ecosystem conservation. Most of the latter research has involved a long-term (20+years), non-invasive study of a natural European wild rabbit population situated on the UEA campus.

Current Research Projects

Parasites and disease in the European wild rabbit
Impact of H5N1 on biodiversity and local livelihoods
Wildlife trade and farming in SE Asia
Genomes and parasites in Indian Ocean columbids and passerines
Myxomatosis epidemiology 60 years on
Altitudinal variation in small mammals and their pathogens in the Himalayas
Genetic variation in Trichomonas gallinae
Reintroductions and translocations of Mauritian avifauna
Pangolin conservation
Conservation of endangered lagomorphs

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Conservation Biology, University of East Anglia