I'm interested in how long-lived, highly encephalised, highly social animals make evolutionary "sense" and how we can apply an understanding of their lives and behaviour to conservation. I've worked on these topics in primates, Asian elephants, African elephants and now, wild boar.
I have worked and continue to have projects in Asia and Southern Africa.
From April 2019 I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Assistant Professor and Branco Weiss fellow, University of Hong Kong, School of Biological Sciences and Department of Politics and Public Administration.
April 2019 - Present
Drapers' Company Junior Research fellow, University of Cambridge, Pembroke College and Department of Zoology
October 2015 - March 2019
Centre for African Ecology, University of the Witwatersrand
February 2018 - present
College for Life Sciences Fellow
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
February - July 2018
I worked on a comparative project on the demography and social relationships of male elephants.
Department for Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Science, Colorado State University
September - December 2017
I worked on collaborative projects with George Wittemyer's group at CSU.
Visiting Fellow at the Applied Behavioural Ecology and Ecosystem Research Unit, University of South Africa
August 2016 - February 2017
I've been awarded highly competitive research fellowships to follow exciting new research avenues on the ecology and conservation of African elephants. My current research is focused on males, the less well-studied sex in terms of behavioural ecology and life history, but one we desperately need to understand if we can to conserve elephants. I've been doing fieldwork in Southern Africa. See my research page for more project info.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Sheffield
June 2014 - August 2015
I was funded through a grant from the Leverhulme Trust to conduct work on how stress affects elephant life history, the evolution of elephant growth and body size and how parasites affect elephant life history.
Myanmar Timber Elephant Project Member
2010 - present
I worked in Myanmar for over 5 years. I was investigating how environmental conditiond are associated with life history, includng looking at early life conditions and later life mortality and fertility.
I did a lot of fieldwork, both updating historic logbook data on elephants and collecting new and exciting physiological data.
Intern, Save The Elephants, Kenya
I conducted monitoring surveys of elephants and other mammals, analysed tracking data, assisted with the identification of poached elephants and updated and added to the Access database.
University of Sheffield
2010 - 2014
PhD in Animal Ecology
Thesis Stress, demography and ecology in Asian elephants
Supervised by Virpi Lummaa- Excellent report
Fully funded through NERC PhD studentship
University of Cambridge
2008 - 2009 MPhil in Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Fully funded through Nick Day Prize for best student, MRC Masters degree studentship
2004 - 2007 MA in Archaeology and Anthropology (BA Cantab upgraded to MA after graduation)
Specialism in Biological Anthropology
Skills and service
Stastical analysis in R including mixed models, time-event analysis
Enzyme immunoassay from faeces and blood
Relatedness analysis of microsatellite data
3+ years fieldwork on elephants in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa
Reviewed manuscripts for Scientific Reports, Biological Conservation, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Environmental Conservation, Behavioural Ecology, Journal of Mammology, Journal of Ecosystems & Ecography and grants for the British Ecological Society and Graduate Women in Science Fellowship
Seed grant for research, University of Hong Kong $20,000 HKD
Start up fund, University of Hong Kong
Fulbright Scholar Award (2017-2018) $30,000 USD
College for Life Sciences Fellowship (2018) worth around €25,000
Branco Weiss - Society in Science Fellowship (500,000 CHF , 2015-2020)
Stipendary Drapers' Company Junior Research Fellowship, Pembroke College, Cambridge (worth over £125,000, 2015-2018)
Fischbeck Foundation grant for a workshop 2018 - €7,000
NRF DST Fellowship for early career researchers (220,000 ZAR through the University of South Africa, 2016)
NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility grant (up to £31,000 for 2017-2018) to fund diet metabarcoding study
NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility grant (up to £13,000 for 2016-2017) to fund population genetics lab work
Cambridge-Alborada Research fund grant to fund field data collection (£19,340, 2016-2017)
- I'm working with students in Hong Kong in my new male African elephant project. They'll be in charge of the project social media presence.
I've participated in Science, Engineering and Technology of Britain, taking my research to the Houses of Parliament.
Presentations to the public in person, TV and over the radio in the UK, India, South Korea and Thailand
I'm featured in the documentary "Of Oozies and Elephants"
NERC showcased my PhD research in a video
School talks in the UK, Hong Kong and Thailand
Shortlisted for Research Photograph of the year by NERC for a picture of me weighing an elephant
My work has been covered by the Daily Mail, Naked Scientists, IFL Science, Planet Earth Online, Conservation magazine and the Irrawady