My research interests include behavioural ecology, conservation and management of African carnivores. My D.Phil. research was on the competitive relationship of two sympatric species of African jackal (Canis mesomelas and C. adustus). Since 1999 I have worked on the ecology, conservation and management of African lions (Panthera leo), with a well established, long term study site in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. This study has a number of foci, including the ecology of lions in an arid-dystrophic savannah ecosystem, impacts and management of sustainable use (trophy hunting), ecology of human-wildlife conflict and landscape ecology (landscape genetics, habitat corridors and regional conservation).
The project works closely with local wildlife and conservation managers and we aim to contribute to and influence management policy. I collaborate closely with scientists from the CNRS Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive laboratory in Lyon, France. More recent research (funded by a Darwin Initiative for Biodiversity Grant) has included studies of ecology, distribution and management of African leopard (P. pardus).
I currently co-supervise three D.Phil. students undertaking research on aspects of lion and leopard ecology and conservation. I also supervise several undergraduate research projects in the same field each year. With David Macdonald I edited ‘The Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids' (2010, Oxford University Press).