School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Rosie Drinkwater


PhD student



Project title: Documenting Tropical Mammal Biodiversity Across a Human-modified Landscape Using Leech Blood Meal DNA

Summary: My PhD is investigating the effects of fragmentation on tropical mammals at the S.A.F.E project in Sabah, Borneo. I will be using an indirect molecular method to determine the composition of the mammal communities, through the extraction of their DNA from leech blood meals. I will be using high-throughput sequencing to analyse leeches from habitats with different degrees of degradation, allowing me to  look at the factors which affect species composition and abundance. The results of this investigation will inform policy on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning in degraded landscapes.