My research interests primarily include terrestrial ecology of large mammals, with a focus on Carnivore Ecology, Human-Wildlife Conflict and Predator-Prey Interactions. I am broadly interested in the drivers of both predator and prey communities in terrestrial ecosystems. Specifically, I am interested in the top-down (e.g., predation, diseases, human impacts) and bottom-up (e.g., rainfall, nutrients, habitat characteristics) mechanisms structuring carnivore and prey communities and variation in these processes between nature reserves and anthropogenically modified systems.
Most of my work has been conducted in the extensive livestock grazing areas in the Karoo, South Africa. Arguably, this land use has fewer negative impacts on ecosystems compared to cropping or urbanization, for example. However, in some cases farmers overgraze rangelands leading to several knock-on effects related to ecosystem functioning. In addition, the lethal management of carnivores perceived to cause livestock mortality is also impacting ecosystem structure and functioning.