What kinds of factors predispose species and populations to vary in their vulnerability to extinction? How can conservation science be used to inform the recovery of species of extreme rarity? How have human activities modified biodiversity through time, and what types of data can be used to reconstruct past ecosystems and extinctions? These are some of the key questions that need to be answered in order to understand the magnitude, duration and dynamics of the human-caused biodiversity crisis, and to generate a robust scientific evidence-base for effective conservation management of threatened species. Potential PhD projects can involve:
- mammal conservation and extinction research in China, southeast Asia, Russia and/or the Caribbean;
- reconstruction of patterns, processes and key drivers of anthropogenic biodiversity loss, and identification of potential conservation management solutions;
- use of data ranging from ecological field surveys, local ecological knowledge, historical archives and the Quaternary fossil record.
Qualifications and Experience
Sam has a BA (Hons) in Biological Sciences and a DPhil in Earth Sciences (Chinese palaeontology) from the University of Oxford. He did his first postdoc at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) before moving to the Zoological Society of London in 2004, where he is a Senior Research Fellow in ZSL’s Institute of Zoology. He has supervised 11 former doctoral students, and has 10 current students.