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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Professor John Gurnell

Emeritus Professor of Ecology



Research Interests:

I carry out research on the ecology, behaviour, genetics, management and conservation of mammals, including methods of study, data analyses and modelling.

I am especially interested in forest management, reintroductions and translocations as conservation tactics, modelling mammals in relation to management and disease, and the health and welfare of wild and captive animals. I work with many collaborators throughout the country, such as at the Centre for Life Sciences Modelling at Newcastle University, the Institute of Zoology, London and CEH Monks Wood.

In recent years, I have worked on woodland mice, field voles, bank voles, water voles, shrews, squirrels, and more exotic animals such as big cats, Przewalski horses and Malagasy fossa.

Current research interests include:

  • Sperm competition in wood mice
  • The baculum and reproductive behaviour in the fossa
  • The ecology and conservation of island red-backed voles with particular reference to the Skomer vole 
  • Survey and monitoring techniques for squirrels
  • Squirrel poxvirus infection in red and grey squirrels
  • Modelling squirrel populations in relation to forest management
  • Feasibility of reintroducing beavers into England.

Personal website:


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