Oliver Leedham

Research Interests

Supervisor: Prof Tim Coulson

I am broadly interested in the behavioural ecology of predator-prey interactions and the role of predators in conservation ecology. Specifically, I am interested in understanding how the behaviours of predator and prey species are influenced by their habitat, environment and each other, and how their behaviours can impact their populations. During my undergraduate degree at the University of St Andrews, I used a temperature-logging live-trapping methodology to record the nocturnal activity patterns of the Wood Mouse in the wild and explore how these activity patterns relate to variation in environmental conditions over a range of time scales. 

As a member of the Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics Group, I investigate the ecological consequences of movement behaviours in wolves and their ungulate prey in Yellowstone National Park. Since the reintroduction of wolves in 1995, these species have been closely monitored by our collaborators in the US. The restoration of the Yellowstone wolf population offers unique insight into the ecological role of wide-ranging carnivores, and the behavioural and demographic responses of prey species to predator reintroduction. My initial work will integrate data from animal-borne GPS collars and long-term population monitoring to examine links between movement patterns and demographic processes in these ecologically important species. As the project progresses, I plan to expand my analyses to assess the how the Yellowstone wolf population is impacted by spatiotemporal variation in ungulate distribution and ungulate management programs.

My work is supported by a Clarendon Scholarship.


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