Amy Fensome

Department: Biosciences
Discipline: Biosciences
Research Centre/Unit: Mammalian Biology

Project Summary

“Habitat fragmentation and mammal conservation: productivity, stress and social networks"

Habitat loss and fragmentation are the primary threats facing global biodiversity. The extent to which anthropogenic alterations to the environment pose a threat to biodiversity have traditionally been assessed by determining the presence/absence of a species, mapping population distribution, calculating gene flow and genetic variation, and estimating population size, i.e. the focus has largely been on parameters at the population level.

There is a trend towards complementing this research with an understanding of the underlying physiological and behavioural responses of individuals to habitat disturbance. Exploring the effects of habitat disturbance on physiological and behavioural parameters not only provides an opportunity to elucidate the mechanisms by which fragmentation causes population declines but they  may act as early indicators.

During the course of my PhD I hope to explore the effects of fragmentation on the behaviour and physiology of bats in the UK through a number of complementary avenues of research. For more information on this project please visit







Supervisory Team

Dr. Fiona Mathews

Dr. Darren Croft