I was invited to write an article for The Conversation, which explores the impacts that increasingly noisy ocean environments are having on the behaviour, physiology and even survival of marine life. I detail findings from the latest research as well as technological advancements that could prove crucial in reducing noise pollution.
Our recent photographic evidence of a pine marten on Anglesey was featured by a number of online news websites including the BBC, Bangor University, Daily Post, North Wales Chronicle and The National.
We made the exciting discovery whilst undertaking research on Anglesey's nationally important red squirrel population. Dr Simon Valle, Dr Craig Shuttleworth and I had established a network of cameras in different types of woodland across Anglesey to monitor local red squirrel abundance. The ground-breaking project was funded by Natural Resources Wales in an attempt to better understand which woodland habitats are optimal for red squirrels and how changes to forest management may affect their numbers.
I wrote an article for The Conversation, which explored the findings from our recent elephant research that was published in the Animals journal. Using playback experiments, we demonstrated that elephants which had experienced social trauma decades earlier were significantly poorer at discriminating the threat of roaring lions compared with a natural and relatively undisturbed population. The news article was also published by Phys.org and Daily Maverick.
Our 2020 paper demonstrating that sleeping oystercatchers are able to adjust their vigilance depending upon disturbance from humans, social context and the weather was awarded paper of the year. The accompanying video was made by staff at the Journal of Zoology.
I was invited to write an article for The Conversation discussing the findings of a recent study that demonstrated widespread infection of white-tailed deer with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans (I was not involved in conducting this research). The article has been read over 220,000 times and it led to an interview with a journalist at the Financial Times who was exploring the spread of COVID in animals and the risks to humans.
Hippos are surprisingly understudied given their charismatic status in the animal world. We published a paper in Biology Letters demonstrating that despite the pronounced selection pressure acting on males to compete for females - there was very little difference in body size between the two sexes. However, males exhibited much larger tusks and jaws that are used to intimidate rivals and impress potential mates. Our research demonstrated how physiology and ecology are crucial in shaping body size differences in polygynous mammals. I wrote an article for The Conversation outlining the findings of this research, which was based on data collected from the 1960's.
My article in The Conversation aimed to explore why elephants have tusks, and what they are exactly. This was a question posed by six-year old Valentina.