Senior Research Fellow
Contact details

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park

Tel: 020 7449 6634

Google Scholar

Theme Leader (Biodiversity & Macroecology)


Chris Carbone's research combines theoretical approaches and comparative analyses to look at broad-scale patterns in ecology related to body size, diet and trophic level.

Chris' recent work has focused the body size scaling of prey selection and abundance in predators, and patterns in animal space use. He also works with projects examining human-wildlife interactions, particularly focusing on the impacts of altered landscapes on wildlife ecology and species richness. This research includes examining ways to improve wildlife monitoring methods, particularly focusing on the use of camera traps to estimate mammalian biodiversity.

Projects collaborations

Biodiversity and Macroecology

Professional history
  • 2005-Present: Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.

  • 1998-2004: Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, ZSL.

  • 1998: Research Fellow, Wildlife Conservation Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

  • 1994-1997: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe.

  • 1992-1994: Royal Society European Exchange Postdoctoral Fellowship & Austrian Academy of Sciences Fellowship, Konrad Lorenz Institute, Vienna.

Selected Publications

Steenweg, R, Hebblewhite, M, Kays, R, Ahumada, J, Fisher, J T, Burton, C, Townsend, S E, Carbone, C, Rowcliffe, J M, Whittington, J, (2016). Scaling up camera traps: monitoring the planet's biodiversity with networks of remote sensors. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: 10.1002/fee.1448

Signorile, AL, Lurz, PWW, Wang, J, Reuman, DC, Carbone, C, (2016) Mixture or mosaic? Genetic patterns in UK grey squirrels support a human-mediated long-jump invasion mechanism. Diversity and Distributions, 10.1111/ddi.12424

Signorile, AL, Reuman, DC, Lurz, PWW, Bertolino, S, Carbone, C, Wang, J., (2016) Using DNA profiling to investigate human-mediated translocations of an invasive species. Biological Conservation, 195: 97-105

Wearn, OR, Carbone, C, Rowcliffe, J M, Bernard, H, Ewers, R M. (2016) Grain-dependent responses of mammalian diversity to land use and the implications for conservation set-aside. Ecological Applications, 10.1890/15-1363.

Crees, J J, Carbone, C, Sommer, R S, Benecke, N, Turvey, S T. (2016) Millennial-scale faunal record reveals differential resilience of European large mammals to human impacts across the Holocene. Proc. R. Soc. B, 283: 1827, 2015-2152

Rowcliffe, J M, Jansen, P A, Kays, R, Kranstauber, B, Carbone, C, (2016) Wildlife speed cameras: measuring animal travel speed and day range using camera traps. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. 2, 2: 84-94

Jacoby, D MP, Siriwat, P, Freeman, R, Carbone, C., (2016) Scaling of swim speed in sharks: a reply to Morrison (2016), Biology Letters, 12, 8.

Cusack, J J, Dickman, A J, Kalyahe, M, Rowcliffe, J M, Carbone, C, MacDonald, D W, Coulson, T. (2016) Revealing kleptoparasitic and predatory tendencies in an African mammal community using camera traps: a comparison of spatiotemporal approaches. Oikos, 10.1111/oik.03403

Cusack, J J, Dickman, A J, Rowcliffe, J M, Carbone, C, Macdonald, D W, Coulson, T, (2015) Random versus game trail-based camera trap placement strategy for monitoring terrestrial mammal communities. PloS one. 10: 5. e0126373

Cusack, J J, Swanson, A, Coulson, Tim, Packer, Craig, Carbone, C, Dickman, Amy J, Kosmala, Margaret, Lintott, Chris, Rowcliffe, J Marcus,. (2015). Applying a random encounter model to estimate lion density from camera traps in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Journal of wildlife management. 79: 6 1014-1021

Bateman, I J, Coombes, E, Fitzherbert, E, Binner, A, Badura, T, Carbone, C, Fisher, B, Naidoo, R, Watkinson, A R. (2015) Conserving tropical biodiversity via market forces and spatial targeting. PNAS, 112, 24: 7408-7413

Wilson, Rory P, Griffiths, Iwan W, Mills, Michael GL, Carbone, Chris, Wilson, John W, Scantlebury, David M,  (2015). Mass enhances speed but diminishes turn capacity in terrestrial pursuit predators. Elife, 4: e06487

Curtis, R J, Brereton, T M, Dennis, R L H, Carbone, C, Isaac, N J B, (2015) Butterfly abundance is determined by food availability and is mediated by species traits.      Journal of Applied Ecology: 52, 6: 1676-1684

Jacoby, D MP, Siriwat, P, Freeman, R, Carbone, C. (2015). Is the scaling of swim speed in sharks driven by metabolism? Biology letters 11, 20150781

Dickman, Amy J, Hazzah, Leela, Carbone, Chris, Durant, Sarah M. (2014) Carnivores, culture and contagious conflict: Multiple factors influence perceived problems with carnivores in Tanzanias Ruaha landscape. Biological Conservation, 178: 19-27

Rowcliffe, J M, Kays, R, Kranstauber, B, Carbone, C, Jansen, P A, (2014) Quantifying levels of animal activity using camera trap data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5, 11: 1170-1179

Brooke ZM, Bielby J, Nambiar K, Carbone C (2014) Correlates of Research Effort in Carnivores: Body Size, Range Size and Diet Matter. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93195.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093195

Codron, D., Carbone, C., Müller, D.W.H. and Clauss, M. 2012. Ontogenetic niche shifts in dinosaurs influenced size, diversity and extinction in terrestrial vertebrates.Biology Letters (online) doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0240

Isaac, N.J.B., Storch, D and Carbone, C. (2013) The paradox of energy equivalence. Global Ecology and Biogeography22(1): 1-5.

Rowcliffe, J.M., Carbone, C., Kays, R., Kranstauber, B and Jansen, P. (2012). Bias in estimating animal travel distance: the effect of sampling frequency. Methods in Ecology and Evolution3(4), 653-662

Rowcliffe, J.M., Carbone, C., Jansen, P., Kays, R., and Kranstauber, B. (2011) Quantifying the sensitivity of camera traps: an adapted distance sampling approach.Methods in Ecology & Evolution (in press).

Isaac, N.J.B., Storch, D and Carbone, C. (2011) Taxonomic variation in size-density relationships challenges the notion of energy equivalence. Biology Letters 7(4): 615-8.

Carbone, C., Turvey, S. and Bielby, J. (2011). Intra-guild competition and its implications for one of the biggest terrestrial predators, Tyrannosaurus rexProc. R. Soc. B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2497 Download PDF

Carbone, C., Pettorelli, N. and Stephens, P. (2010). The bigger they come, the harder they fall: body size and prey abundance influence predator–prey ratios. Biology Letters, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0996

Craigie, I. D., J. E. M. Baillie, Balmford, A., Carbone, C., Collen, B., Green, R. E., Hutton, J. M. (2010). "Large mammal population declines in Africa's protected areas."Biological Conservation 143(9): 2221-2228.

Isaac, N.J.B. and Carbone, C. (2010) Why are metabolic scaling exponents so controversial? Quantifying variance and testing hypotheses. Ecology Letters 13: 728–735.

Kays, R. W., Kranstauber, B., Jansen, P. A., Carbone, C., Rowcliffe, M.,Fountain, T., and Tilak, S. (2009) Camera Traps as Sensor Networks for Monitoring Animal Communities. IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks 34: 811-818.

Van Valkenburgh, B., Maddox, T., Funston, P. J., Mills, M. G. L., Grether, G. F. and Carbone, C. (2009) Sociality in Rancho La Brea Smilodon: arguments favour ‘evidence’ over ‘coincidence’. Biology Letters 5(4): 563-564.

Carbone, C., and N. Pettorelli (2009) Testing relationships between energy and vertebrate abundance. International Journal of Ecology 2009: 1-6.

Pettorelli, N., J. Bro-Jorgensen, S. M. Durant, T. Blackburn, and C. Carbone (2009) Energy availability and density estimates in African ungulates. American Naturalist173: 698-704.

Carbone, C., T. Maddox, P. J. Funston, M. G. L. Mills, G. F. Grether, and B. Van Valkenburgh (2009) Parallels between playbacks and Pleistocene tar seeps suggest sociality in an extinct sabretooth cat, Smilodon. Biology Letters 5: 81-85.

Rowcliffe, J.M. and Carbone, C. (2008) Surveys using camera traps: are we looking to a brighter future? Animal Conservation 11: 185-186. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2008.00180.x

Rowcliffe, J.M., Field, J., Turvey, S.T. and Carbone, C. (2008) Estimating animal density using camera traps without the need for individual recognition. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01473.x

Stephens, P.A., Carbone, C., Boyd, I.L., McNamara, J.M., Harding, K.C. and Houston, A.I. (2008) The scaling of diving time budgets: insights from an optimality approach. American Naturalist 171(3): 305-314. DOI: 10.1086/527491

Carbone, C., Rowcliffe, J.M., Cowlishaw, G. and Isaac, N.J.B. (2007) The scaling of abundance in consumers and their resources: implications for the energy equivalence rule. American Naturalist 170(3): 479-484. DOI: 10.1086/519858

Carbone, C., Teacher, A. and Rowcliffe, J.M. (2007) The Costs of Carnivory. PLoS Biology 5(2): E22. Download PDF

Carbone, C., Frame, L., Frame, H., Malcolm, J., Fanshawe, J., FitzGibbon, C., Schaller,G., Kruuk, H., Gordon, I., Rowcliffe, J.M and DuToit, J. (2005) Feeding success of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) in the Serengeti: the effects of group size and kleptoparasitism. Journal of Zoology 266: 153-161.

Carbone, C., Cowlishaw, G., Isaac, N. J. B. and J. Marcus Rowcliffe (2005) How far do animals go? Determinants of day range in mammals. American Naturalist 165: 290-297.

Jetz, W., Carbone, C., Fulford J. & Brown, J.H. (2004) The scaling of animal space use. Science 306: 266-268.

Rowcliffe, J.M. Pettifor, R.A. and Carbone, C. (2004) Foraging inequalities in large groups: quantifying depletion experienced by individuals in goose flocks. Journal of Animal Ecology 73: 97-108.

Wikelski, M., Carbone, C. (2004) Environmental scaling of body size in island populations of the Galapagos Marine Iguana. In: Alberts, A.C., Carter R.L., Hayes W.K. & Martins, E.P. (eds) Iguanas, Biology and Conservation. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Carbone, C., Zadorina, L. Thompson, W., and Rowcliffe, J.M. (2003). Competition, predation risk and patterns of flock expansion. Journal of Zoology 259: 301-308.

Carbone, C. & Gittleman, J.L. (2002) A common rule for the scaling of carnivore density. Science 295: 2273-2276.

Wikelski, M., Carbone, C., Bednikoff, P., Choudhury, S. & Tebbich, S. (2001) Why is Female Choice not Unanimous? Insights from Costly Mate Sampling in Marine Iguanas. Ethology 107: 623-638.

Carbone, C., Christie, S., Coulson, T., Franklin, N., Ginsberg, J., Griffiths, M. , Holden, J., Kawanishi, K., Kinnaird, M., Laidlaw, R., Lynam, A., Macdonald, D.W., Martyr, D., McDougal, C., Nath, L., Obrien, T., Seidensticker, J., Smith, D., Sunquist, M., Tilson, R. and Wan Shahruddin W.N. (2001) The use of photographic rates to estimate densities of tigers and other cryptic mammals. Animal Conservation4: 75-79.

Cristol, D.A., Baker, M.B. and Carbone, C. (1999) Differential migration revisited: Latitudinal segregation by age and sex classes. Current Ornithology 15: 33-88.

Carbone, C., Mace, G.M., Roberts, S.C. & Macdonald, D.W. (1999) Energetic constraints on the diet of terrestrial carnivores. Nature 402: 286-288.

Carbone, C., du Toit, J.T. & Gordon, I.J. (1997) Feeding success in African wild dogs: does kleptoparasitism by spotted hyaenas influence hunting group size? Journal of Animal Ecology 66: 318-326.

Carbone, C. & Houston, A.I. (1996) The optimal allocation of time over the dive cycle: an approach based on aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Animal Behaviour 51: 1247-1255.

Carbone, C. de Leeuw, J.J. & Houston, A.I. (1996) Adjustments in the diving time budgets of tufted duck and pochard: is there evidence for a mix of metabolic pathways? Animal Behaviour 51: 1257-1268.

Wikelski, M., Carbone, C. & Trillmich, F. (1996) Lekking in marine iguanas: Female grouping and alternative male reproductive strategies. Animal Behaviour 52: 581-596.

Carbone, C. & Taborsky, M. (1996) Mate choice or harassment avoidance? A question of female control at the lek. Behavioral Ecology 7: 370-373.

Carbone, C. & Houston, A.I. (1994) Patterns in the diving behaviour of the pochard Aythya ferina: a test of an optimality model. Animal Behaviour 48: 457-465.

Houston, A.I. & Carbone, C. (1992) The optimal allocation of time over the dive cycle.Behavioral Ecology 3: 255-265.

Black, J.M., Carbone, C., Wells. R.L. & Owen, M. (1992) Foraging dynamics in goose flocks: the costs of living on the edge. Animal Behaviour 44: 41-50.

Current PhD students
  • Sahil Nijhawan, PhD, Funded by Panthera, UCL, Tigers, tribal cultures and dams in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Philip Chapman, PhD, Funded by NERC, Imperial. Implications of habitat disturbance on mammalian dispersal: SAFE Project, Borneo.
  • Adam Britton, PhD, Funded by NERC CASE studentship, UCL. Assessing human impacts on fish communities from the biodiversity hotspot Lake Tanganyika
  • Guilherme Braga Ferreira, PhD, Funded by Brazilian Government, Assessing changes in mammal diversity in the Brazilian Cerrado, University College London.
  • Judith Ament, PhD student, London NERC DTP, Zoological Society of London / University College London. Human-wildlife coexistence: understanding causes of vulnerability and resilience to human population
Recent Alumni
  • Dr. Sonya Gowtage-Sequeira, The importance of jackals and domestic dogs for the transmission of generalists canid pathogens to sympatric carnivores in Namibia, University of Edinburgh.
  • Dr. Emily Fitzherbert, Pigs, palms, people and tigers: integrating conservation and commerce in Sumatra, UEA, Norwich.
  • Dr. Nathalie Cooper, Macroevolution of mammals, Imperial College, Silwood.
  • Dr. Amy Dickman, The determinants of human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania, UCL, London.
  • Dr. Maurus Msuha, Human Impacts on Carnivore Biodiversity Inside and Outside Protected Areas in Tanzania, UCL, London.
  • Dr. Joe Smith, Habitat requirements of Sumatran mammals in human altered landscapes, Imperial College, Silwood.
  • Dr. Esteban Payan, Jaguar and puma ecology and conservation in Colombia, UCL, London.
  • Dr. Ian Craigie, NERC Funded PhD. Assessing the Effectiveness of Protected Areas in Biodiversity Conservation, University of Cambridge.
  • Dr. Robin Curtis, NERC Funded PhD. Resource limitation in butterflies: implications for macroecology and conservation, UCL, London.
  • Dr. Tola Oni, NERC Funded PhD. The determinants of tiger occurrence and population viability in fragmented landscapes, Imperial College, London.
  • Lisa Signorile, NERC Funded PhD. Genetic and ecological determinants of the expansion of grey squirrel populations across Europe, Imperial College, London.
  • Jennifer Crees, NERC Funded PhD. Dynamics of large mammal range collapse and extinction: evidence from the Holocene record of Europe, Imperial College, London.
  • Murray Collins, NERC/ESRC Funded PhD. Protecting Peat: Linking carbon credits and biodiversity conservation in Indonesia, London School of Economics, London.