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Research Students - Biological Anthropology  

Year of start: 2010
Subject: Biological Anthropology/Ecology

Research Topic

Climate change, drought impacts and the coexistence of people and large carnivores in East African rangelands


Prof. Katherine Homewood (UCL) (first supervisor)
Dr Sarah Durant (Institute of Zoology) (second supervisor)


The overarching aim of my interdisciplinary PhD project is to investigate the interrelationships among large carnivores, people and ecosystem services in East African rangelands, and how climate change is set to intensify these relationships. Africa is one of the continents most vulnerable to climate change and climate variability. As climate change is hard to track in the context of a PhD, and with the datasets available, I will be focusing specifically on the impact of recent extreme climatic events (XCEs). Increase in XCEs, such as drought and flood have major implications for people, wildlife and ecosystems.

East African rangelands, with world class savanna biodiversity but no formal protected status, offer a unique opportunity to explore the complexities of coexistence. I will explore the ways XCEs, coupled with increasingly restricted mobility and range loss, alter the patterns of behaviour for both people and wildlife. With increasing concentrations of people, human-wildlife conflict (HWC) has increased. Understanding patterns of coexistence is important because HWC can be extremely detrimental to both people and wildlife populations and threatens both environmental and social sustainability of current land uses.

Research interests

  • Persistence of wide-ranging mammals in anthropogenically altered landscapes
  • Coexistence of people and large predators
  • Impact of HWC on pastoralist communities and wildlife populations
  • Impacts of XCE on pastoralist livelihoods, wildlife populations & ecosystems

Academic Background/Education

MSc Conservation, UCL
BSc Biology, Birkbeck
BA (Hons) 3-Dimensional Design, Camberwell College of Art


ESRC/NERC studentship

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