Dr Becky Thomas

Teaching

Academic Co-ordinator for Organismal Biosciences

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Course coordinator for the Diversity of Life (BS1040)

Personal profile

My research interests focus on the conservation biology and ecology of birds and mammals, specifically in how people's decisions affect the ecology of wild species. I am particulary interested in how human activity affects ecological interactions at a range of scales, especially in trying to uncover some of the unexpected and unpredicted consequences of our behaviour.

 

Research interests

 

Urban Ecology
Here I am interested in whether our efforts to come close to wildlife and nature has an indirect effect on non-target species? In the UK almost half of homeowners provide supplementary food for birds, providing us with an opportunity to study the consequences for other species. At the same time we provide plants, ponds and other habitats to encourage wildlife, while providing homes to predators and barriers to species movements. How do these changes to urban ecosystems influence the structure of food webs in our towns and cities? Recently projects have looked at domestic cats as urban predators and the unexpected effects of supplementary feeding (for both small passerines and red kites).

Human-Wildlife Conflict

Here I am interested in how we can work to reduce threats to free ranging leopards in areas outside of National Parks. Leopards can threaten livestock, and as a result may be killed by those wishing to protect their livelihoods. Our study investigates the behaviour of leopards and other carnivores and the attitudes of farmers in South Africa.

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