- 2021–Present: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology and UCL
- 2021: PTES research intern, Hedgehogs & Roads project
- 2019–2020: MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation; Institute of Zoology, UCL & Natural History Museum
- 2015–2018: BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Exeter
My main areas of interest are evolution, conservation and the crossover between them, with a focus on highly endangered and extinct-in-the-wild species. I am particularly interested in the phenotypic and genotypic changes that may occur in a species after many generations in captivity, and how these changes might affect a species’ recovery potential.
My PhD centres on the effects of long-term captivity on three extinct-in-the-wild species, the sihek (Guam kingfisher), Socorro dove and Edwards’s pheasant, with particular focus on the morphological, genetic and behavioural changes that may result from adaptation to captivity, reduced selection pressures or small founding populations (known as the founder effect). I am comparing data from zoological collections (including ZSL London Zoo) to data from museum specimens to determine any changes in morphology between species before their extirpation and in the modern day, and comparing any variation found between modern and pre-extirpation specimens to populations of species that have already undergone successful translocations to determine if any effects are the same. Furthermore, I will use data from zoological collections to determine the consequences of these effects, such as changes in behaviours or reproductive success. Finally, I will be consulting with experts and investigating previous species translocations to determine exactly what factors make an individual a good candidate for release. The overarching aim of my PhD is to determine how these factors affect a species’ recovery potential and I hope to use my results to inform conservation practitioners in the effective planning of translocations.
Dr John Ewen, Institute of Zoology
Dr Ryan Felice, UCL
Dr Amanda Trask, Institute of Zoology
Dr Axel Moehrenschlager, Wilder Institute, Calgary Zoo
Mitchell, M.J., Goswami, A. and Felice, R.N. Cranial integration in the ring-necked parakeet, Psittacula krameri (Psittaciformes: Psittaculidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2021 133(1): pp.47-56. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/blab032
Caro, T., Argueta, Y., Briolat, E.S., Bruggink, J., Kasprowsky, M., Lake, J., Mitchell, M.J., Richardson, S. and How, M. Benefits of zebra stripes: Behaviour of tabanid flies around zebras and horses. PLoS One. 2019 14(2): p.e0210831. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210831