My core area of interest is human-wildlife conflict, focusing on lions and other large-bodied mammals in sub-Saharan Africa. I am particularly interested in the permutations of livestock bomas and fencing, and the psychological, social, and economic impediments to better implementation of such HWC-reduction measures.
Living alongside predators is challenging: they represent not just a threat to life for many rural people, but also a serious threat to livelihood, with livestock predation causing significant economic hardship for many people across the world. This problem is particularly acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where many large predator species turn increasingly to livestock to form part of their diet. But how can conservation biologists reduce this problem? One of the issues experienced by rural livestock owners is lack of experience with evidence-based livestock management. My work focuses on providing this evidence base, and helping communities to understand what techniques are most effective for conflict reduction under their local conditions. The psychology of livestock management is a key component of this work, identifying how and why people make particular livestock management decisions. Psychology is becoming an ever more integral tool to conservation implementation, and my work focuses explicitly on how psychology can be used to reduce conflict with predators.