Peter Haswell

Summary: I have wide ecological interests, although my involvements to date have concentrated on food-webs, carnivore ecology & conservation. Through a behavioural ecological lens my work focuses on interspecific interactions, ecosystem services, anthropogenic disturbance and conflict resolution. I also like to think “big picture” and have interest in environmental ethics and philosophy. I completed my PhD (Biology) and Bangor University, UK, where I also taught Zoology for more than 5 years. I have, and continue to, collaborate with a range of international researchers and wildlife conservation non-profits, most notably the UK Wolf Conservation Trust (2008 until its closure in 2018) and the Croatian large carnivore programme (2010 to present).

Research interests: My adult life has been devoted to assisting wildlife through conflict resolution, education, monitoring and research efforts. Predominantly, my work has focused on carnivores in temperate regions, but I have also worked with domestic dogs. I desire to assist with nature conservation, preservation and sustainable human practices by continuing to engage in these endeavours while also venturing into restoration efforts and philosophical contributions.
Key challenges for wildlife preservation are the utility, management and potential to expand or compliment protected area networks. A key challenge for multi-use conservation landscapes is ensuring the compatibility of human land uses with conservation goals. I am interested in the effects of activities such as recreation, food production and habitat modification on wildlife as well as the effects of external processes on protected area dynamics. My interest spans individual, population and macro-ecological responses e.g. foraging, scavenging, denning, diet, distance effects of point disturbances, activity patterns/budgets, stress/cellular ageing, survival, occupancy, richness and diversity patterns. We need to understand the impacts of various anthropogenic disturbances and how this interplays with species traits and other drivers to affect conflicts, ecosystem services and species community composition. Importantly, we also need to understand how to mitigate such effects, balancing the needs of humans while also maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes. Much work is also needed to understand ecological baselines and best practice in restoration efforts.

Humans can be considered a super predator with global ecological implications, an integral part of food webs but importantly the only species able to make ethical judgements and purposeful choices based on an awareness of the outcomes. I am interested in how we act and ought to act; as individuals, scientists, conservation practitioners and broader society. I would like to contribute to cultural shifts in perceptions of human excellence, challenge overconsumption, and illicit bottom-up and top-down change that benefits biodiversity and human well-being.

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