Our Projects

Rachel Crouthers

PHD Student

Research Interests

My PhD aims to use a range of ecological, genetic, and social science tools to gain a greater understanding on Asian elephant populations existing in multi-use anthropogenic landscapes in Southeast Asia. The primary objective of my study is to investigate if small fragmented elephant populations can persist within a socio-ecological landscape in Cambodia. Working with an array of partners, this research aims to make an important contribution to the field of conservation genetics by exploring the effectiveness of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers against traditional genetic markers for assessing population size and genetic structure of wild Asian elephants.

Findings from this study will contribute to, an improved knowledge on Asian elephant population status, advancements in genetic tools to study spatial and temporal movement, and factors that influence human-elephant conflict. Results from my study will allow conservation practitioners to develop inter-disciplinary strategies that will be beneficial to both elephant conservation and the wellbeing of people co-utilising shared resources.

Background

Conservation Biologist with over 10 years’ research experience in South-east Asia, Africa, Latin America and the UK. Established, implemented and managed multiple globally endangered species monitoring surveys. Expertise in endangered species conservation, biodiversity monitoring techniques, protected area management and mitigation strategies. Obtained an MSc in Conservation Biology (MMU) in 2010.

Supervisors

Dr Peter Ritchie, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Wayne Linklater, California State University

Dr Alex Ball, RZSS

 

Funding Acknowledgements

DARWIN Initiative, WWF, Humanscale and BMZ

Location

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; RZSS, UK; Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia