Research themes

Our research areas are diverse, drawing upon expertise through collaborations.

Group of otters on sand

Toxicology

Levels of pollutants in otter tissues can be a useful indicator of pollution in the environment in which it feeds.

Otters on ice

Population structure and dispersal

Using DNA extracted from muscle tissues, Bayesian clustering and GIS to identify the genetic structure of the UK otter population.

Sprainting Eurasian otter

Scent communication

Chemical profiling of otter spraint has the potential to provide detail such as population size and structure and home range size.

Parasite

Parasitology

Using macro-parasites of the otter to investigate how density-dependent and independent factors regulate parasite populations. 

Otter eating

Diet

Prey availability is one of the key parameters limiting otter distribution, but studies of otter diet in much of the UK are limited. 

Otter skull

Cranial morphometrics

Research looking at geographic variation in skull size and shape.

Otter with fish

Age

Incremental cementum lines were used to assess the age structure of sub-adult and mature wild otters received by the project.

Two Eurasian otters in wood

Reproductive status

Researching seasonal breeding by examining the uterus and foetuses found in utero.