Career History

  • BSc.Jnt. hons. Zoology & Psychology, University College, Cardiff
  • Ph.D. University of Wales (1977)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, Cardiff (1976-77)
  • Lecturer in Animal Behaviour, Department of Zoology, Cardiff (1977-79)
  • Lecturer /Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, UEA (since 1979)

Key Research Interests

I am a conservation biologist with eclectic research interests mainly at interdisciplinary boundaries. 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 Indian Ocean. Much of my current research concerns the roles of introduced pathogens and wildlife trade in biodiversity loss. My UK research has used the European wild rabbit as a model species to investigate interrelationships among population dynamics, behavioural ecology, reproduction, genetics, parasites/ disease and species/ecosystem conservation. Most of the latter research has involved a long-term (20+year), non-invasive study of a natural European wild rabbit population situated on the UEA campus.

Current Research Projects


  • Population dynamics, social organization, parasites and disease in a long-term study of a natural population of the European wild rabbit 
  • Impact of H5N1 on biodiversity and local livelihoods 
  • Parasites and disease in Indian Ocean columbids and passerines
  • Myxomatosis epidemiology 50 years on 
  • Reintroductions and translocations of Mauritian avifauna
  • Developing a new initiative, Conservation Outreach, which will build capacity in conservation skills in countries rich in biodiversity but poor in resources to monitor and implement action plans for endangered species and ecosystems


Life in our research group

My students attend conferences in conservation biology and emerging infectious diseases and socialize with other members of the Theme and ecologists in ENV and social scientists in DEV. Our approach to research is interdisciplinary.


PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

Teaching Interests

  • Biodiversity (BIO 1A03)
  • Behaviour, Evolution and Ecology (BIO 1 A03)

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • IUCN Species Survival Commission, Lagomorph Specialist Group (1981-)
  • Council Member: World Land Trust (2005-)
  • Invited lecture: Cambridge Society for the Application of Research, Churchill College, Feb 2007
  • Invited speaker: BA Meeting, Norwich: Emerging Infectious Diseases and Environmental Change- ‘Biodiversity loss, exotic pathogens and animal trade’ (Sept 2006)
  • Invited lecture: ‘Emerging infectious diseases, biodiversity loss and animal trade’, Imperial College, Silwood Park, March 2006
  • Invited speaker: United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Curitiba, Brazil: ‘Conservation implications of HPAI H5N1’ (March 2006)
  • Guest keynote speaker: Conference on Biodiversity and Health (COHAB 2005), Galway, Ireland, Aug 2005.
  • Invited speaker: ZSL Scientific Meeting, Zoological Society of London:’SARS and the wildlife trade’, Nov 2004
  • Invited speaker: Royal Society meeting, London: ‘Zoonotic origins of SARS: new avenues?’

Administrative Posts

  • Director of MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation (MScAEC)
  • Masters Module Organiser: MScAEC Dissertation (M60Y), Research Skills for Ecologists (M64Y), Issues in Conservation (M68), Practical Conservation (M56Y), MScAEC Field Course organiser.
  • BIO Ethics Committee