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School of Geography

Grace Moore


PhD Student

Room Number: Geography building, Room 224


Research Interests

Rewilding, conservation ecology, zoogeomorphology, ecosystem engineering, nature-based solutions, climate change

PhD project

Title: Animals as geomorphic agents in landscape rewilding

As a bid to restore damaged ecosystems and increase biodiversity, rewilding schemes have increased throughout the UK and Europe. A key approach to rewilding involves the protection or reintroduction of animal species. The Quaternary extinction event resulted in a huge loss of large megafauna and many rewilding proposals today aim to emulate the lost ecological roles of these animals. Consequently, ungulates are often targeted species for rewilding projects. Due to their feeding habits (e.g. grazing/ browsing vegetation, rootling soil) and movements (e.g. trampling, wallowing), these ‘ecosystem engineer’ species drive natural processes and shape landforms and landscapes. They can play key roles in vegetation regeneration and succession, and in soil biodiversity and recovery. Yet understanding of these interactions in rewilded environments is sparse, and geomorphological and hydrological impacts in particular remain under-explored. 

This PhD aims to resolve this by (1) conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis to establish the state of the knowledge of the geomorphic impacts of ungulates in different environments (2) investigate geomorphic disturbance by ungulates at UK rewilding sites using remote sensing (3) conduct a more in-depth field survey of the cascade effect that occurs in the ecosystem in areas of pig disturbance and (4) use species distribution modelling to assess the resilience and sustainability of current rewilding strategies against climate change.

Academic background

MSci Zoology, University of Bristol


Dr Gemma Harvey, QMUL

Dr Tim Newbold, UCL

Dr Alex Henshaw, QMUL





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