Dr Alastair Ward
Head of Department, Biological and Marine Sciences
|Biography||I have been fascinated by wild animals and our interactions with them for as long as I can remember. This has led me into a career of scientific research and operational projects delivery for government agencies (CSL, Fera, AHVLA, APHA) and NGOs (British Deer Society and the Deer Initiative), and most recently within academia.
I am Honorary Scientific Adviser to the British Deer Society and I'm a member of the IUCN/SSC Deer Specialist Group and the Mammal Society's Scientific Advisory Committee.
|Research Interests||What problems for people do wild animals bring, and how can we best manage them? What problems for wildlife do people bring, and how best can we manage them? How can we reconcile competing objectives for wildlife across fragmented, multi-owner landscapes? What measurements of wildlife do we need to take in order to make evidence-based decisions about their management, how good are our estimates and how good do they need to be? These are the sorts of multi-disciplinary questions that keep me awake. If you would like to research solutions to peoples’ problems associated with wildlife (especially deer, but also other vertebrates) for the benefit of people and wildlife, I’d welcome a chat.|
|Teaching and Learning||I favour interactive learning - I want to see enthusiasm and engagement among those attending my classes. Consequently, by discussion and debate we explore topics such as persecution of hen harriers on grouse moors, culling of deer on nature reserves, mining for minerals in protected areas, and tiger habitat conservation in human-populated areas. I also supervise as many undergraduate and MSc research projects as I can. Recent topics have included rehabilitation of hedgehogs, recolonisation of Scotland by beavers, consequences of lynx reintroduction for roe deer, and niche overlap between extinct and extant bovids on Mediterranean islands.|