- 2015–present: PhD candidate
Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research (UCL) and Institute of Zoology (ZSL)
- 2014–2015: Programme manager
Protected Areas Research Group, University of Cape Town
- 2014: FGASA Level 1 Nature Guiding course
Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa
- 2013–2014: Visiting Research Fellow
Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town
- 2012: Wildland Firefighter
US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, California
- 2011–2013: M.Sc. Environmental Science
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University
- 2007–2010: B.Sc. Natural & Social Science
Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam
I am interested in the mechanisms underlying and the processes driving natural dynamics, with special attention for the role of humans and the consequences for spatial patterns, landscapes and wildlife. In practice, this means I enjoy applying (spatially explicit) quantitative methods to conservation-related questions.
My background lies in (theoretical) population and community ecology and geospatial analysis. During my studies, I worked on the interplay between cod fisheries and top-down control of grey seal on Atlantic cod in the Baltic Sea, using a stage-structured predator-prey-resource model. I also produced mathematical simulations of the effects of herbivore community complexity on plant resilience for a New England meadow ecosystem. Interested in furthering my skills in spatially explicit modelling of empirical data and in working on more applied, conservation-related questions, I then moved to Cape Town to investigate the drivers of land cover change in and around protected areas and assessed cultural ecosystem service demand in South Africa’s national parks.
In my PhD I will investigate the evidence and opportunities for human-wildlife coexistence in the past, present and future, to understand the causes of vulnerability and resilience of wildlife populations to human pressures. Initially, I will use wildlife population trend data from the Living Planet Database, in addition to a wide range of global socioeconomic data on progress made toward the Sustainable Development Goals, to investigate socioeconomic variables that predict wildlife persistence. Simultaneously, this will hopefully provide insight into whether there are synergies between wildlife conservation and international development, and into the socioeconomic and environmental preconditions for these synergies. Subsequently, the aim is to integrate data on present‐day population trends with substantial zooarchaeological and historical datasets, to overcome past “extinction filter” effects associated with past extinctions, to more fully understand the impact of human populations on wildlife abundance and distribution.
Bowker, J., De Vos, A. Ament, J.M., and Cumming, G.S. In press. Satellite aerial imagery indicates mixed effectiveness of Africa’s tropical protected areas for maintaining forest cover. Conservation Biology.
Ament, J.M., Moore, C., Herbst, M. and Cumming, G.S. In press. Tradeoffs and synergies between bundles of cultural ecosystem services in protected areas. Conservation Letters.
Ament, J. M. and G. S. Cumming. (2016). Scale dependency in effectiveness, isolation, and social‐ecological spillover of protected areas. Conservation Biology 30, 846–855.
Henry, D.A.W., Ament, J.M. and Cumming, G.S. (2016). Exploring the environmental drivers of waterfowl movement in arid landscapes: an application of first-passage time analysis. Movement Ecology 4, 1-18.
De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., Ament, J.M., Baum, J., Clements, H., Grewar, J., Maciejewski, K., Moore, C.A. (2016). Pathogens, disease, and the social-ecological resilience of protected areas. Ecology & Society 20.
Miller, J.R.B., Ament, J.M., and Schmitz, O.J., (2013). Fear on the move: predator hunting mode predicts variation in prey mortality and plasticity in prey spatial response. Journal of Animal Ecology 83, 1–9.
Dr. Chris Carbone (Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London)
Dr. Ben Collen (Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, University College London)
Dr. Robin Freeman (Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London)