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Prof Stewart Thompson
Stewart is a Professor of Biodiversity Conservation and leads the Spatial Ecology and Landuse Unit in Biological & Medical Sciences at Oxford Brookes. He has a particular interest in how threatened species use landscapes in response to policy and management initiatives. For the last decade he has been working on projects in the Maasai Mara investigating herbivore response to the creation of wildlife conservancies and assessing aspects of eco-tourism impacts to wildlife. He also visits Central India where he is assessing the depletion of the tiger prey-base in response to anthropogenic pressures and South Africa where he has several areas of research interest all linked to large herbivore management in private game reserves.
Laura Doughty & Ol Kinyei Wildlife Conservancy staff
Laura has been working with SELU for the last 5 years, undertaking her PhD and is currently continuing her research postdoctoral researcher on the Wildlife Conservancy project in the Greater Mara Ecosystem, Kenya. She has a particular interest in conducting wildlife monitoring programs linking them to those policy and management tools that seek to secure the protection of wildlife. Much of her work centres on the use of spatial information and associated modelling techniques to investigate species distribution outputs in relation to different management protocols, disturbance events and land use change.
Abigail’s research interests focus on the use of genomic approaches to enable best management and conservation of species both in the wild, and in captivity. The development of the tools provided by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies, have opened up the field of genomics to conservationists, allowing researchers to study population structure, dynamics and connectivity at a landscape scale. This is an approach that facilitates the identification of changes in population structure, genetic signatures and adaptive processes population-wide, in response to changing environmental parameters. She is working on a PhD research project that is investigating the application a landscape genomic approach to determine the adaptive genomic response and impact of illegal shark fishing on prey species in the Lutjanidae family (commonly known as snappers.)
The project is jointly supervised in a collaborative partnership with the University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia.
Kim Wallis with Sir David Attenborough
Kim has been working as a Conservation Advisor for Northumbrian Water Group (or Essex & Suffolk Water) since 2008. Her job is largely focused on Abberton Reservoir and during the construction phase (2010 - 2013) working alongside contractors, stakeholders and colleagues and acting as the Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW). This provided a great opportunity not only to work on a unique project, but also to carry out research in order to understand the effect construction activity had on the waterfowl populations Abberton is internationally important for (it holds SPA, SSSI and Ramsar designations). Since construction was completed, the main focus of the project has been to carry out ecological enhancements and habitat creation as per the Ecological Management Plan.
Kim’s research links to SELU because it is a large scale ecological spatial study with a focus on using GIS to understand the drivers determining waterfowl distribution and how construction disturbance may have affected them. The study also assesses the effectiveness of mitigation techniques used to reduce the effects of disturbance which has potential implications for conservation policy and resource management; a primary focus of SELU.