Dr Lara Sousa

Research Interests

My research interests include the behavioural and spatial ecology and species interactions of wild vertebrates. With a background in the environmental integration and modelling of the movements and distribution of marine species, my work has been mainly focused on the understanding the species behavioural patterns in relation to changes in the habitat.

I studied for a BSc in Biology at University of Évora, Portugal, followed by an MRes in Marine Biology at University of Aveiro, Portugal. My MRes thesis investigated the vulnerability of blue shark (Prionace glauca) to longlining activity in the Northeast Atlantic. Afterwards, my PhD at the University of Southampton was focused on the behaviour, predator-prey and fisheries interactions of ocean sunfish (Mola mola), in the North Atlantic Ocean. My work integrated the species movements in the environment and highlighted how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection. Simultaneously, I have been collaborating with the satellite tagging and tracking of different marine species distribution (from the hawksbill sea turtle to large predators as the tiger, silky and bull sharks).

At the WildCRU, on the Trans-Kalahari Predator Project, I will be investigating the spatial ecology of different species of carnivores in Zimbabwe, focusing on the estimation of population densities of three species (lion/leopard/hyaena). Particularly, this work aims at a better understanding and the environmental integration of the species distribution in the region, the intraguild interactions and co-occurrence patterns and the habitat selection.

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