Dr Sarah Papworth

Personal profile


You can follow us on twitter: @CABLabRHUL or find videos and summaries of research projects at the Conservation and Behaviour lab website: www.conservationbehaviour.com


The Conservation and Behaviour Lab focuses on how the social and physical environment affects individual behaviour, and how this behaviour, can, in turn, alter that environment. There is a particular interested in hunting in the tropics and primate behaviour and always try to pursue research related to conservation. The approach to conservation science includes human decisions and behaviour as part of a complex ecosystem, thus most of the work is interdisciplinary and has a strong human focus. We combine approaches and theory from ecology, anthropology and psychology.


Using local ecological knowledge to inform conservation decision-making

Biological information on plants and animals is essential for conservation but can be time-consuming and costly to collect, and sometimes can even be impossible for very rare species. This theme aims to identify the potential uses and applications of local ecological knowledge for conservation decision-making by governmental organisations and NGOs, and to encourage increased use of this information by these stakeholders. At present, Sorrel Jones and Heidi Ma research this area, partnered with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Zoological Society of London and numerous smaller NGOs to co-produce this knowledge.

The effect of human behaviour and perceptions on conservation outcomes

We are interested in how conservation research is communicated and translated into conservation practice. This theme investigates all aspects of the conservation process, from the popularity of conservation research in online news, Facebook and Twitter, to understanding how the experiences of individuals impacts the decisions they make for conservation. Lizzie Jones is currently working on shifting baseline syndrome, which describes how targets for conservation may shift as decision-makers forget, or lack experience of past ecological conditions.

How do humans affect primate behaviour?

In this theme, we are interested in how spatial patterns of human and primate behaviour change our understanding of sustainability and conservation. For example, do differences in animal behaviour between hunted and unhunted areas change their detectability during censuses, and thus make comparisons between these areas more complex? Camilla Blasi-Foglietti is currently investigating this question, looking at how monkey behaviour in the Gola Forests of Liberia and Sierra Leone change with human hunting pressure.




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