2019–present: PhD candidate, ARIES NERC DTP, University of Plymouth & ZSL Institute of Zoology, in partnership with ARC Trust
2016–2019: Hedgehog Officer, Suffolk Wildlife Trust
2015–-2016: Research Assistant, Birdlife International
2014: Research Assistant, Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2013–2014: MSc in Conservation & Biodiversity, University of Exeter
2013–2014: Research Intern, People’s Trust for Endangered Species
2010–2013: BSc in Zoology, University of Exeter
I am interested in understanding the impacts of environmental change on wildlife populations, and how this information can be used to inform management and conservation practise. My previous research has used a range of field and analytical approaches to look at the influence of light pollution on small mammals, farmland management on harvest mouse nesting and anthropogenic and ecological drivers of disease in common frogs.
Alien species and disease are listed as the highest-ranking causes of extinction for amphibians worldwide (Bellard et al. 2016). Climate change is an additional and growing threat that is likely to act in synergy with these pressures (Blaustein et al. 2010). Most introduced species do not become invasive; an understanding of the impacts of those that become established is important for categorising invasiveness and for informing conservation decision making. My research will utilise a field system in Wales, UK, in which native amphibian populations can be found alongside newly discovered smooth Lissotriton vulgaris and alpine newts Ichthyosaura alpestris, both of which are non-native to the area.
Smooth and alpine newts are native to central mainland Europe and the natural range of smooth newts also extends across parts of the UK. The Non-Native Species Secretariat of Great Britain lists I. alpestris as a high-risk species as they are known carriers of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and the species is also considered an emerging threat in New Zealand where removal programmes are underway. Anecdotal reports suggest potential impacts of non-native newts on native amphibians in the UK, but empirical evidence for this is lacking. By combining field, lab and modelling approaches, this project aims to elucidate the impacts of non-native newts on native amphibian populations, understand how climate change may influence invasion and ultimately help inform conservation plans for native amphibians that may be vulnerable to these threats.
Dr Robert Puschendorf, University of Plymouth
Dr Manuela Truebano Garcia, University of Plymouth
Dr Richard Billington, University of Plymouth
Professor Trent Garner, ZSL Institute of Zoology
Dr John Wilkinson, ARC Trust
Dr John Ewen, ZSL Institute of Zoology
North, A.C, Hodgson, D.J, Price, S.J, Griffiths, A.G.F. Anthropogenic and ecological drivers of amphibian disease (Ranavirosis). PLOS ONE. 2015 10(6): e0127037
Novosolov, M., Rodda, G.H., North, A.C., Butchart, S.H.M., Tallowin, O.J.S., Gainsbury, A.M., Meiri, S. Population density–range size relationship revisited. Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 2017 26 (10): 1088-1097