Nia Thomas

Research student, School of Biosciences

I undertook my undergraduate studies at Cardiff University between 2008 and 2011, where I graduated in Ecology. I then spent 5 years working on various scientific projects; including field work in Montana, Alaska, Ireland and Bolivia, and adventure-education projects; including a yearlong bike tour from Bolivia to the USA ( www.spoonintheroad.org ) and a 6 month canoe expedition from source to sea down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers ( www.ontheriver.org ). In January 2016 I returned to Cardiff to start my PhD (2016 – present), funded through the NERC GW4+ DTP on the ‘Dynamics of demographic expansion and population structure in the otter (Lutra lutra).’

My work uses molecular techniques to investigate the changes in otter population structure across the UK over a twenty-year period of recolonisation. Furthermore, it aims to gain new and previously intractable information on home range and (potentially sex-biased) dispersal, and to examine the permeability of landscape barriers to movement.

Supervisors: Dr Elizabeth Chadwick, Prof Robbie McDonald and Prof Mike Bruford.

Project title: Dynamics of demographic expansion and population structure in the otter (Lutra lutra).

Research interests

My research interests include molecular ecology, conservation biology, non-invasive sampling methods, population genetics and landscape connectivity.

Professor Michael Bruford

Professor Mike Bruford

Co-director Sustainable Places Research Institute