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UCL Division of Biosciences

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Judith Ament

Brief CV

2015 – presentPhD student, Zoological Society of London / University College London
2014 – 2015Project manager, Protected Areas Research Group, University of Cape Town
2013 – 2014Yale Fox International Fellow, Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town
2011 – 2013MSc. Environmental Science, Yale University
2007 – 2010Bsc. Natural & Social Science, University of Amsterdam

PhD Title:

Human-wildlife coexistence: understanding causes of vulnerability and resilience to human population

Current research

Judith Ament

Conservation actions such as protected areas are relatively well studied and are generally successful in protecting wildlife and habitats within their boundaries. Cumulatively they are still insufficient to reduce the current rate biodiversity loss however, as this would require more land to be set aside for conservation than is realistically available. Moreover, many species are simply not well suited to live within protected area boundaries due to for instance wide-ranging behaviour. In addition, a strong spatial separation of wildlife and human activities would mean the loss of ecosystem function and many ecosystem services in human dominated areas, ranging from provisioning and regulating services such as pollination and water filtration, to cultural services such as experiencing an emotional connection to the environment. 

For these reasons it is thus imperative that wildlife persists interspersed and intermixed with humans on the landscape. In order to promote the survival of wildlife populations outside protected areas, evaluation of landscape-scale wildlife population trends, in relation to human dynamics and activities, is necessary to understand where conservation action is most needed and most likely to be effective. 

This project will use wildlife population trend data from the Living Planet Index, a global dataset of population trends of vertebrate species, in addition to a wide range of global socioeconomic data on progress made toward the sustainable development goals, to investigate socioeconomic variables that predict wildlife persistence outside protected areas. Simultaneously, this study will investigate whether there are synergies between wildlife conservation and international development, and explore the socioeconomic and environmental preconditions for these synergies.

Supervisors

Dr. Chris Carbone (ZSL IoZ)

Dr. Ben Collen (CBER UCL)

Dr. Robin Freeman (ZSL IoZ)

Publications

Ament, J.M. and Cumming, G.S. (2016). Effectiveness and social-ecological spillover of protected areas: understanding scale dependencies. Conservation Biology.

Henry, D.A.W., Ament, J.M. and Cumming, G.S. (2016). Exploring the environmental drivers of waterfowl movement in arid landscapes: an application of first-passage time analysis. Movement Ecology.

De Vos, A., Cumming, G.S., Cumming, D.H.M., Ament, J.M., Baum, J., Clements, H., Grewar, J., Maciejewski, K., Moore, C.A.  (2016). Pathogens, disease, and the social-ecological resilience of protected areas. Ecology & Society.

Miller, J.R.B., Ament, J.M. and Schmitz, O.J. (2013). Fear on the move: predator hunting mode predicts variation in prey mortality and plasticity in prey spatial response. Journal of Animal Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12111

Ament, J.M., Moore, C., Herbst, M. and Cumming, G.S. Under review. Tradeoffs and synergies between bundles of cultural ecosystem services in protected areas.

Bowker, J., De Vos, A. Ament, J.M., and Cumming, G.S. Under review. High resolution remotely sensed data indicate mixed effectiveness of Africa’s tropical protected areas for maintaining forest cover.