Research themes

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

Toxicology

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

Population structure and dispersal

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

Scent communication

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

Parasitology

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

Diet

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

Cranial morphometrics

Research looking at geographic variation in skull size and shape.

Age

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

Reproductive status

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