I did my BSc in Zoology at Cardiff University, graduating in 2017. I spent my placement year as a primate research assistant at the Durham University Primate and Predator Project, studying the habitat use of Samango monkeys in relation to their food availability. For my dissertation I used genetics to assess the success of translocations of the critically endangered Bojer’s skinks among the islands surrounding Mauritius. In 2018 I started a Masters by Research at the University of Bristol looking at plant plasticity and roots under environmental stress, of two altitude-specific ragwort species found on Mt Etna, Sicily. I submitted this thesis and successfully defended it May 2020.
In October 2019 I started a PhD with the Cardiff University Otter Project and Molecular Ecology groups, using the newly sequenced otter reference genome and samples from the otter database to study the demographic history of populations within the UK. I am currently expanding this work to include samples from across Eurasia, to understand how the UK population fits into the species across its range.
du Plessis, S. J. et al. 2019. Genetic diversity and cryptic population re-establishment: management implications for the Bojer's skink (Gongylomorphus bojerii). Conservation Genetics 20(2), pp. 137-152.
Genomic Tracking of UK Otter (Lutra lutra) Population Expansion After Anthropogenic Declines in the 20th Century