Our lab’s research focuses on experimentally testing the impacts of predator-induced fear on population-, community-, and ecosystem dynamics (the "ecology of fear" [PDF]), together with the effects of fear on health, development, gene expression, and neural archiecture in the brain. We conduct large-scale field experiments that provide a unique opportunity to test the demographic and trophic consequences of behavioural, physiological, and neurobiological phenomena. Our approach is to first establish the ecological validity of phenomena in the field and then explore the mechanisms in semi-natural conditions and in the lab.


Highlighted News

New Current Biology paper:
Fear of the human "super predator" pervades the South African savanna

Wildlife's fear of humans far exceeds even the fear of lions!

Video of giraffe, leopard, hyena, zebra, kudu, warthog, and impala running in response to hearing humans.

Video of elephants, rhinos, and other wildlife reacting to humans and lions.

Lions have long been seen as the world’s most fearsome predator, the “king of beasts”. Recent global surveys show humans kill prey at much higher rates than other predators, meriting humans being termed a “super predator”. We report experimentally demonstrating that fear of humans far exceeds even that of lions throughout the savanna mammal community in a premier African protected area; strengthening the evidence that fear of the human “super predator” pervades the planet. Paramount fear of humans adds to our global environmental impacts as fear itself can reduce wildlife numbers.