Dr. Marcus Rowcliffe
Senior Research Fellow
- Course co-director, MSc Conservation Science
- Honorary Fellow, Imperial College London Life Sciences
- Honorary Fellow, University College London Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research
- Senior Editor, Remote sensing in Ecology and Conservation
- 1994-1998 Senior Research Officer, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
- 1994 PhD Population ecology of brent geese and their food plants, University of East Anglia, UK
- 1989 BSc Biology of Plants and Animals, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
I am a multidisciplinary conservation scientist, working to understand human impacts on wildlife populations, and the effectiveness of conservation interventions designed to mitigate impacts. My approach is primarily quantitative, using and developing cutting edge modelling techniques to get the most out of data, but extending to more qualitative and mixed methods where these are needed to understand human dimensions of conservation issues. My research covers a wide range of species, habitats and locations, but with a particular focus on two themes:
Camera trap analytics research
Camera traps have revolutionised our ability to understand the abundance, distribution and behaviour of rare and elusive wildlife over the last two decades, and the hardware and software involved in this pursuit are continuing to improve rapidly. As part of a wider ZSL team specialising in the use of camera traps, I run a programme of research with Dr Chris Carbone developing new analytical tools to get the most out of camera trapping data. Various camera trap data analysis tools are in development on Github. R package activity for the analysis of animal activity levels using camera trapping data is available from CRAN.
Bushmeat research programme
Hunting for meat is the leading threat to larger mammals in many parts of the moist tropics. With Dr Guy Cowlishaw, I co-direct the bushmeat research programme, aiming to understand the ecological impacts of bushmeat hunting in West and Central Africa; the socio-economic factors driving unsustainable use; and the effectiveness (or otherwise) of conservation efforts to improve sustainability.
Current PhD students
Rebecca Short: impacts of mosquito net fishing
Philip Chapman: impacts of tropical forest fragmentation on mammals
Steph Brittain: local ecological knowledge as a wildlife monitoring tool
Guilherme Braga Ferreira: effectiveness of protected areas for mammal conservation in the Brazilian cerrado
Helen Muller: social and ecological impacts of the ban on trophy hunting in Botswana
Ant Dancer: effectiveness of law enforcement monitoring in tropical protected areas
I have more than 150 publications, including one book: Milner-Gulland, E.J. and Rowcliffe, J.M. (2007) Conservation and Sustainable Use: a Handbook of Techniques. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Full publication lists are available on Google Scholar and ResearchGate.
Data-driven ecology and conservation; Camera trapping; Wildlife monitoring; Conservation technology; Statistical ecology; Social-ecological systems; Social science in conservation; Hunting; Bushmeat; Wild meat