My research combines an interest in disease ecology and conservation. I recently began a PhD with Professor Christl Donnelly, Imperial College London and Professor Rosie Woodroffe, Zoological Society London within the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Programme.
My project is to model multi-host viral pathogens for biodiversity conservation in order to determine when intervention is necessary to protect threatened wildlife populations and identify the most effective intervention strategies.
Particular focus will be given to two case studies. African wild dogs are an endangered species of canid facing a range of threats including infectious disease. Rabies has been implicated in local extinction of the population in Serengeti National Park and hindered reintroductions in South Africa and Namibia. A quantitative assessment of different intervention strategies will be a valuable tool in determining how the threat posed by rabies to African wild dog populations can best be managed.
Ebola has been associated with population declines in critically endangered Western lowland gorillas and endangered chimpanzees, including the deaths of an estimated 5000 Western gorillas in Lossi Sanctuary, Republic of Congo alone. Epidemiological modelling can provide an a priori assessment of the potential of different intervention strategies to reduce the extinction risk Ebola poses to Western gorilla and chimpanzee populations.