Key Research Interests

I am a conservation biologist with eclectic research interests mainly at interdisciplinary boundaries. Much of my current research concerns emerging zoonotic diseases such as SARS, HPAI H5N1 and Ebola and the roles of introduced pathogens and wildlife trade in biodiversity loss.  This has recently involved collaboration with The Genome Centre TGAC and colleages at the Institute of Zoology to sequence the genomes of the endangered Mauritius Pink Pink Nesoenas mayeri (Mohammed Albeshr) and the protozoan Trichomonas gallinae (Abdul alrefaei).  Another of my PhD students, Simon Poulton, is investigating altitudinal variation in small mammals and their pathogens in the Nepali Himalayas.

Historically my overseas research has been primarily aimed at helping to identify long-term management plans to minimise biodiversity loss in critically threatened grassland and forest refugial habitats in Mexico, the Indian sub-continent, S.E. Asia and islands of the Indical Ocean.  My UK research has used the European wild rabbit as a model species to investigate inter-relationships among population dynamics, behavioural ecology, reproduction, genetics, parasites/disease and species/ecosystem conservation.  Most of the latter research has involved a long-term (20+years), non-invasive study of a natural European wild rabbit population situated on the UEA campus.

Current Research Projects


  • Parasites and disease in the European wild rabbit
  • Impact of H5N1 on biodiversity and local livelihoods 
  • Wildlife trade and farming in SE Asia
  • Genomes and parasites in Indian Ocean columbids and passerines
  • Myxomatosis epidemiology 60 years on
  • Altitudinal variation in small mammals and their pathogens in the Himalayas
  • Genetic variation in Trichomonas gallinae
  • Reintroductions and translocations of Mauritian avifauna
  • Pangolin conservation
  • Conservation of endangered lagomorphs


Life in our research group

My students attend conferences in conservation biology and emerging infectious diseases and socialize with other members of the Theme and conservation geneticists in ENV, MED and TGAC.  Our approach to research is interdisciplinary.


PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in Biological Sciences. But feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Postdocs & Fellows

I am always happy to discuss possibilities for postdoctoral work and collaborations. Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie fellowships, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.

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