I have broad interests in the ecology, behaviour and conservation of wild mammals. Most of my work focuses on mesocarnivores (particularly the musteloids), but I have also worked with other groups including small mammals, and beavers. Particular interests include mechanisms for co-existence within carnivore guilds, sexual dimorphism and its role in behavioural and ecological strategies, the existence and implications of individual behaviour, and the ability of semi-aquatic mammals to function in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. As a conservationist, I have a long-standing interest in reintroductions and the restoration (whether natural or human-managed) of threatened animal species in their native environment, and their interactions and co-existence with humans (particularly in the developed world).
Most of my work is field-based but I increasingly use meta-analysis and systematic review methods to address broader-scale issues. I am keen to see robust scientific evidence applied to conservation practice, and in this capacity, I have undertaken projects for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals, the Environment Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage.
I have been a member of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) since 1996, and coordinated the WildCRU's work on American mink and other riparian mammals since 2007. WildCRU’s aim is to undertake original research on aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management.
I am currently a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group.