Professor Robbie McDonald


Chair in Natural Sciences
Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter

I am an ecologist with an interest in the practices of animal management. My work is interdisciplinary in nature and addresses problems that animals cause for people and the conflicts and disputes among people about their management. I work on the management of native and introduced, wild and domestic species to achieve goals for controlling and eradicating disease in people and animals, for conserving biodiversity and for improving livelihoods.

One of my major current projects is investigating the ecology and epidemiology of Guinea worm infection in free-ranging domestic dogs in Chad and Ethiopia. This work contributes to the global programme for eradication of human Guinea worm disease, being led by The Carter Center and the World Health Organisation.

I also work with cat owners to address the challenges for cat health and well-being and for wildlife populations that can be presented by cat predation of wildlife. This is a major project supported by Songbird Survival.

My PhD researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and I work on a variety of wildlife conservation and management projects, mainly in the UK. Recent work has addressed the conservation of hazel dormice, pine marten restoration and its ecological effects, the recovery of polecats, wildcat conservation, the ecological effects of Tasmanian devil decline and predation of pheasants by buzzards.

For the last 10 years or so, my research has focused on the science, policy and practical implications of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers. In this area, I work mainly in partnership with the National Wildlife Management Centre of the Animal and Plant Health Agency. You can find out more by watching this two-minute video of me explaining my work on badgers and bovine tuberculosis.

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