After graduating with a BSc Hons in Zoology from Cardiff University, I spent three years working on black bear and brown bear research projects in America and Canada, including the ‘USGS Northern Continental Divide Grizzly Bear Research Project’ in Montana and various projects throughout Alaska. During my time on these projects, I became interested in the parasite community of bear populations. This interest led to a Masters of Research (MRes) project producing a host-parasite sharing network for the Arctic, quantifying parasite spillover to polar bears, which I carried out at Cardiff University and the Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy.
Supervisors: Dr. Sarah Perkins (Cardiff University); Dr. Frank Hailer (Cardiff University); Dr. Melissa McKinney (University of Connecticut); Dr. Todd Atwood (United States Geological Survey)
Working in collaboration with University of Connecticut and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), my PhD research focuses on the three-way interaction between the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota, parasite diversity and load and contaminant accumulation in polar bears. My research is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Location: Cardiff University; University of Connecticut