I'm a wildlife ecologist at XJTLU, a China/UK partner university, focusing on wild mammal ecology and conservation in one of China’s biodiversity hotspots: the Tibetan Plateau.
Large mammals are among conservation’s greatest challenges. Because of their large home ranges and space needs, there is widespread debate around whether large mammal conservation should focus on spatially separating them from humans through protected areas, or on facilitating their long-term survival in human-dominated landscapes. As human resource needs increase in future and the threats facing wildlife grow accordingly, answers to these questions and a better understanding of animals’ particular needs are urgently required.
My research began by investigating the impact of human pastoral land use on an iconic large carnivore, the snow leopard (Panthera uncia), and its natural prey species. It has now expanded and developed to cover the following topics:
Why some species thrive, and others struggle, around human activity.
The complex interactions between carnivores and wild ungulates (a large group of herbivorous hooved animals) in areas of human land use.
The ecological function of large carnivores and herbivores – and the impacts of their extinction.
The impact of national laws and policies (such as wildlife food bans) and local social-economic issues on conservation and species survival.