My pronouns are she/her
I am broadly interested in the way that large mammals behave in human-dominated landscapes. To that end, my research aims to test the applicability of two theories of predator-prey ecology to anthropogenic landscapes. The Lima and Dill (1990) equation can be used to calculate wild predation risk based on the probabilistic outcomes of each of five sequential stages of the predation process: encounter, interaction, attack, capture, and death. While this model has widely been used since its inception to describe predator-prey interactions in the wild, it has never been applied to predator-livestock interactions. The aim of my research is to test and subsequently mathematically adapt this model to systems where humans play an influential role in the predation process. The risk-disturbance hypothesis (Frid and Dill, 2002) is another theory of predator-prey ecology, which states that animals’ responses to human disturbance reflect perceived predation risk. Through fieldwork in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, I will test whether large mammals, which are vulnerable to subsistence poaching pressure, can accurately assess changes in mortality risk associated with different types of human cues.