Erin Phillips

Position
HMEI-STEP Fellow 2022
Role
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Adviser(s)
Bio/Description

HMEI-STEP Topic: Examining the political, social and economic barriers to species reintroductions

HMEI-STEP Adviser: David Wilcove

Thesis Topic: Evaluating the impact of apex carnivore reintroduction on savanna mesocarnivores

Thesis Adviser: Robert Pringle

I am a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studying the impact of apex carnivore reintroduction on ecological communities in African savannas. Humans have been moving animals around the globe for centuries, and reintroduction of species to areas they have been lost from is becoming an increasingly popular and high profile conservation strategy in the 21st century. I am particularly interested in how these reintroductions are likely to impact smaller mesocarnivores, and hope to tease apart positive and negative interactions between these two guilds through my fieldwork in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. As an HMEI-STEP Fellow, I will be exploring species reintroductions from a policy angle, examining the political, social and economic barriers to their success. Through this research, I hope to contribute to bridging the gap between scientific research and on-the-ground conservation action. Aside from carnivores, I love reading, being outdoors, board games and period dramas.