Meet The Team


Sarah Papworth

Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology

My research focuses on how the social and physical environment affects individual behaviour, and how this behaviour, can, in turn, alter that environment. I am particularly interested in primate behaviour, hunting in the tropics and how we make decisions about conservation. My approach to conservation science includes human decisions and behaviour as part of a complex ecosystem, thus most of my work is interdisciplinary and has a strong human focus. I combine approaches and theory from ecology, anthropology and psychology

Lucy Archer

PhD student Royal Holloway and Institute of Zoology

I started my PhD in March 2018. My research focusses on assessing the ability of different monitoring methods to gather conservation-relevant data for the endangered and elusive Philippine pangolin. The Philippine pangolin is arguably the least known of all eight pangolin species and we have little knowledge on the threats to this species, or the effectiveness of different research methods to gather baseline data to inform its conservation. I have used interviews to establish the distribution, status and threats to the Philippine pangolin on Palawan Island. This PhD is funded by NERC and the Zoological Society of London.

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Lizzie Jones

PhD Student Royal Holloway

I started my PhD in September 2017. I’m investigating the causes and impacts of Shifting Baseline Syndrome, a phenomenon by which individuals or whole generations have incorrect perceptions of the ecological baseline. This moved point of reference can erode the usefulness of local knowledge for conservation. I have demonstrated that not only are there age-related differences in perceptions of past ecological conditions, but also older people perceive greater need for conservation action for declining species. 

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Larissa Barker


PhD Student Royal Holloway

I started my PhD in September 2018. My research is focused on understanding the impact of human visitors on pygmy marmoset behaviour, focusing on seasonal and spatial differences in responses near Tahuayo Lodge, an ecotourism site in the Peruvian Amazon. I used passive acoustic monitoring with Audiomoth to quantify seasonal and spatial differences in anthropogenic noise and pygmy marmoset vocalisations. I also monitored birds of prey at the site to understand variation in non-human predators at the site, and finally plan to test whether pygmy marmoset responses to human noise are analogous to their responses to predators.

I started my PhD in April 2018. My research focusses on the critically endangered blue-crowned laughingthrush in south-east China, looking at why this range-restricted bird breeds at some sites and not others. This is being studied in terms of this species' ecology, land use and other human pressures. I have used interviews to understand the species distribution and threats. I am also conducting analyses of habitat variation, using ecological surveys and satellite imagery. This PhD is partially funded by Waddesdon Aviary, Chester Zoo and Riverbanks Zoo.

Rosa Gleave

PhD student Royal Holloway


Heidi Ma

PhD student Royal Holloway

Hainan Gibbon Project Manager ZSL

I started my PhD in February 2017. I am interested in investigating the extent to which low-income communities near nature reserves in China utilize and rely on the reserve's resources, and identifying potential sustainable alternative livelihood options. My project aims to gain a robust understanding of community usage and perceptions of local biodiversity and human disturbance within and around nature reserves on Hainan Island, China, and inform conservation management decisions at a broader level. This PhD is partially funded by Arcus Foundation and the Zoological Society of London’s Hainan Gibbon Project.