Selected Publications

The term ‘rewilding’ has over a dozen definitions and existing ‘rewilding’ projects invariably began as restoration projects. All existing ‘rewilding’ definitions fit within existing definitions of the long-established field of restoration. Fuzzy and vague definitions impinge upon scientific progress. We recommend using the clearly defined term restoration instead of rewilding.
Biol Cons. 233:255-259, 2019

This paper combines data from multiple camera trap studies to look at the ecology of 10 mammal species in Northern Ireland: badgers, fallow deer, foxes, hares, pine martens, rabbits, squirrels and wood mice. We looked at general activity patterns (e.g. diurnal, nocturnal, crepuscular), seasonal variation in activity patterns relative to sunrise/set and (dis)associations between predators and prey. Many of these species are of economic, management and/or conservation interest. Our findings will help identify future studies and direct conservation and management efforts.
PeerJ (2018), 2018

Invasive species are the main threat to island biodiversity; seabirds are particularly vulnerable. Gough Island is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, and one of the most important seabird colonies globally. House mice, introduced by sealers in the 19th century, kill the eggs and chicks seabirds on the island, but no one knew how many were lost. We compared the breeding success of ten seabird species on Gough Island to those of similar species from predator-free islands and found that seabirds on Gough Island lost around 1,700,000 eggs/chicks annually. MacGillivray’s Prion, Atlantic Petrel, and Tristan Albatross are likely to become extinct if the mice are not removed.
Ibis (2018). doi: 10.1111/ibi.12664, 2018


More Publications

(2019). Reintroducing rewilding to restoration - Rejecting the search for novelty. Biol Cons. 233:255-259.

Source Document

(2018). Seasonal and predator-prey effects on circadian activity of free-ranging mammals revealed by camera traps. PeerJ (2018).

PDF Source Document Data & code

(2018). Hare Survey of Ireland 2018/2019: Interim Report (June) 2018. Report produced for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

(2018). Lagomorpha Life History. In: Vonk J, Shackelford TK (eds.) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer.

PDF Source Document

(2018). Lagomorpha Navigation. In: Vonk J, Shackelford TK (eds.) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer.

PDF Source Document

(2017). Current ornithological research in Ireland - seventh Ornithological Research Conference, UCC, November 2017. Irish Birds. 10:598-638.


(2017). A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review. F1000Research. 6:1151.

PDF Source Document


As a teacher I aim to provide my students with skills, knowledge and confidence critical to their academic and personal development. I take an inclusive approach, developing strong relationships and encouraging discussion.

Current research students
Samantha Ball (PhD). Managing hares at Dublin airport. University College Cork.
Alan McCarthy (MRes). Top-down and bottom-up factors affecting breeding Hen Harriers in Ireland. University College Cork.
Laura Brooks (MSc). Factors affecting Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) nest box occupancy and reproductive success in the Forest of Dean. University of South Wales.
Maja Hudej (MSc). Spatial ecology and site occupancy of translocated pine Martens martes martes in Wales. University of South Wales.
Ayashi Majumder (MSc). Habitat suitability of a relocation site for hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius). University of South Wales.
Alan McCarthy (PhD, 2019 - ). Wintering ecology of Hen Harriers in Ireland. University College Cork.

University of South Wales (2019-present)
Module leader 2019-20
GE2S008 - Biodiversity and Biogeography
GE2S017 - Research Methods in Natural History
GE3S009 - Mediterranean Field Expedition
ES4S011 - European Field Expedition

GE0S04 - Foundation in Natural History
GE1S008 - Observational Fieldwork
GE1S010 - Natural History
GE2S008 - Biodiversity & Biogeography
GE2S017 - Research Methods in Natural History
ES4H001 - Environmental Management and Legislation
ES4S009 - Restoration Ecology
ES4S010 - Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation
ES4T001 - MSc Research Projects

University College Cork (2017-18)
Module development
BL6024 Quantitative skills for biologists using R.
Quantitative skills required by postgraduate students to successfully conduct and publish their research, with a focus on data analysis and graphing, statistics, and basic modelling, as generally implemented by zoologists and ecologists. - BL6024 Quantitative skills for biologists using R.

Queen’s University Belfast (2012-16) Introduction to GIS (Teaching Assistant)
Animal Biology (Teaching Assistant)
Undergraduate residential field course


Prospective Students
I am always interested in hearing from prospective students who are interested in joining the research group. I encourage women, queer, indigenous, and other minority group scholars to get in touch. I support flexible working hours and locations.

Contact me for information.

Current Opportunities

30/10/18 - Master’s (research) position
Study: Reproductive history and parasites of Irish hares at Dublin Airport
Start date: Autumn 2019 (prospective)

Supervisors: Dr. Fidelma Butler (University College Cork); Dr. Anthony Caravaggi (University of South Wales); Samantha Ball (University College Cork)

Irish hare, Lepus timidus hibernicus. Photo by Joachim S. Muller.

The Irish hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus) is a subspecies of mountain hare (L. timidus) that is endemic to the island of Ireland. A large number of hares are found at Dublin Airport, particularly on the enclosed land encompassing the airfield itself. The Master’s position will be part of a larger project, led by a PhD-level study, that aims to quantify population parameters and risk factors for the airport population and the Dublin Airport Authority. Studying the reproductive capacity and parasite burden of the hares will increase our understanding of population dynamics and relative health, increasing the interpretive strength of associated studies as well as mitigation methods.

Prospective students should note that the position is currently seeking funding, e.g. Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarships. Thus, we are soliciting expressions of interest, only. Once funding has been secured, the successful student will be supported by an experienced team with substantial research and supervisory experience.

If you are interested, contact Dr. Fidelma Butler(f.butler[at] or Dr. Anthony Caravaggi(ar.caravaggi[at] in the first instance. Please include a CV.

We encourage applications from all minority group scholars.