Bethany R. Smith on ResearchGate
I am a PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University studying the ecological effects of livestock guarding dogs in collaboration with Fauna & Flora International (FFI). My fieldwork is based in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania, where FFI have been working on facilitating coexistence between people and large carnivores and providing Carpathian shepherd dogs to shepherds to help protect livestock. You can read about FFI’s work in Romania here. The main methods employed in my PhD fieldwork are GPS tracking, camera trapping and dietary analyses (scat and stable isotopes).
I’m also really interested in bioacoustics and conduct independent research with Canid Howl Project. At present we mainly study the vocal interactions between wolves, coyotes and dogs, and how we can use passive acoustic monitoring to keep track of wolf and coyote movements.
Before starting my PhD I worked as Data & Information Officer for Mammal Society, and am now their Student Representative. In this role I am coordinating the society’s annual University Mammal Challenge (UMAC); a competition in which student teams try to record as many mammals as possible on their university campuses. I also started a Student Spotlight feature and showcase the research of students working on UK mammals.
I have an MRes in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation from Imperial College London and a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Throughout my undergraduate and master’s, my research topics were very varied but included: rewilding; environmental DNA (eDNA); wildlife responses to human disturbance; ecosystem engineering; and population dynamics. You can read about these projects under Past Research.