James Foley

Research Interests

I have been fortunate enough to work all over the world on exciting species and projects. This has led me to be interested in how human actions are impacting animal health and behaviour. I took my Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the University of Edinburgh with a year abroad at the University of Queensland. My undergraduate project investigated the effects of urbanisation on the red fox giving me my first opportunity to work with canids. I went on to work on exciting carnivore species in the US, working in Yosemite National Park mitigating conflict between people and black bears and then on a grey wolf monitoring project in Minnesota.

I then did my Msc at Imperial College London in ecology, evolution and conservation. My master’s research project was based in Norway where I investigated what effected reported losses of reindeer to predators and whether it matched estimated mortality.

I am now undertaking a DPhil at Wildcru working with Professor Claudio Sillero on the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. I will be trying to develop disease management strategies for the wolves which are prone to outbreaks of Rabies and Canine Distemper. The wolves share their habitat with livestock herders who have animals and dogs which can often lead to the transfer of disease and outbreaks in the wolf packs. This causes their population to drop dramatically inhibiting recovery of the species. Using knowledge of the interactions and diseases I hope to construct a model to test various vaccination strategies and hopefully come up with one that helps the species recover.

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