The Conservation, Evolution and Behaviour group works at the interface of conservation biology, evolutionary biology and animal behaviour. We use this synergy to help our understanding of how wildlife can survive and thrive alongside humans.
Much of the conservation research we do focuses on biodiverse regions of the world. We are active across Africa, Southeast Asia and South America, working on birds, mammals, amphibians and other groups in tropical forests and other ecosystems. We also work closer to home, in British habitats on habitat fragmentation, restoration of salt marshes, impact of wind farms and noise pollution. We have a special interest in capacity building in developing countries both through PhD training, and taught MScs.
An understanding of ecology, evolution and behaviour provides important insights and new perspectives on the science of conservation. Our group is interested in a wide variety of evolutionary and behavioural topics that range from bioacoustics and determinants of primate social structure to whale behaviour and bumble bee foraging. We also use theoretical models (such as random forest analyses) to assess extinction risks, and DNA sequence analyses to monitor gene flow and minimal viable population size. Our research ranges from the applied (GPS collar tracking of working Police dogs) to the more fundamental (behavioural neuroscience of rodent whiskers).
Information about the research interests of individual members of staff can be found within their staff webpages.
We have a thriving taught master’s programme with courses in Animal Behaviour, Conservation Biology, Countryside Management, Biological Recording, Conservation Genetics and Bird Conservation. Students can carry out their MSc research projects within any of the Group’s main research areas.