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Personal profile

Research interests

I am interested in behavioural ecology of vertebrates in anthropogenic environments, in the context of biodiversity conservation and mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. My research currently focusses on mammals in urban landscapes, in particular concerning intra and inter-specific interactions and the implications of these for community dynamics and disease transmission. I am currently investigating niche partitioning between foxes, badgers, domestic cats and hedgehogs, and between foxes and the intermediate gastropod hosts of helminth diseases. I am also involved in developing novel technologies for investigating urban ecological processes, including the use of wireless sensor networks to monitor resource selection and social behaviour. I am interested in Citizen Science as a tool for wildlife monitoring and public engagement with nature, particularly in the context of increasing global urbanisation.

Approach to teaching

I like to teach in as interactive a way as possible, and particularly enjoy project supervision, leading small group tutorials, and field trips. I include topical issues and examples in my teaching and link theory with real-world scenarios wherever possible. I use a variety of resources including video and audio media sources, online and in-class quizzes, field demonstrations, and discussion of scientific and popular science articles. I try to connect with students by using reference points that they are familiar with. I expect my students simply to engage with me and with the subject matter, and be mentally as well as physically present!

Supervisory Interests

I am open to supervising students and researchers in any aspect of behavioural ecology, but particularly that which aids our understanding of how wild animals interact with humans. Current/previous BSc., MRes and PhD students have investigated a diverse range of topics under my supervision including: leopard population estimation using Citizen Science, novel devices for reducing domestic cat predation of garden birds, effects of supplementary feeding on urban foxes,  social interactions and stress in domestic cats, effects of deforestation on neotropical lizard and bird communities, and agricultural change and farmland bird conservation in Europe.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Sussex

Award Date: 12 Dec 2016

Master, University of Reading

Award Date: 20 Sep 2000

Bachelor, University of Manchester

Award Date: 14 Jul 1998

External positions

External Examiner PhD, Liverpool John Moores University

External Examiner MPhil, University of Sussex


  • QH301 Biology
  • QL Zoology
  • Animal behaviour, urban wildlife, population monitoring, foxes, badgers,domestic cats, hedgehogs, bird predation, wireless sensor networks, movement ecology

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Research Output

  • 22 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Den-site selection at multiple scales by the red fox (Vulpes vulpes subsp. montana) in a patchy human-dominated landscape

Zaman, M., Tolhurst, B., Zhu, M. & Jiang, G., 29 May 2020, In : Global Ecology and Conservation. 23, e01136.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Spatial aspects of gardens drive ranging in urban foxes (Vulpes vulpes): The Resource Dispersion Hypothesis revisited

    Tolhurst, B., Baker, R., Cagnacci, F. & Scott, D., 9 Jul 2020, In : Animals. 10, 7, p. 1-13 13 p., 1167.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Spatial distribution of sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) in urban foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Great Britain as determined by citizen science

    Scott, D., Baker, R., Tomlinson, A., Berg, M., Charman, N. & Tolhurst, B., 24 Mar 2020, In : Urban Ecosystems. 23, 5, p. 1127-1140 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Do Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) Increase the Detectability of Scent Marks by Selecting Highly Conspicuous Substrates?

    Zaman, M., Tolhurst, B., Zhu, M., Heng, B. & Jiang, G., 24 Sep 2019, In : Journal of Ethology and Animal Science. 2, 2, 7 p., 000113.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Increased Flight Initiation Distance (FID) in Golden Marmots (Marmota caudata aurea) Responding to Domestic Dogs in A Landscape of Human Disturbance

    Zaman, M., Tolhurst, B., Zhu, M. & Jiang, G., 26 Aug 2019, In : Animals. 9, 9, 11 p., 605.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    The impact of electric fences on ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) population parameters and behavioural ecology

    Bryony Tolhurst (Supervisor), Samuel Penny (Supervisor) & Niall Burnside (Supervisor)

    1 Oct 2020 → …

    Activity: External examination and supervisionResearch degree

    Member of Grant Review College, British Ecological Society

    Bryony Tolhurst (Reviewer)

    22 Jul 2020 → …

    Activity: External funding peer-review

    Staying at home? Protect your dog and act at home against lungworm

    Bryony Tolhurst (Presenter)

    1 May 2020

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Guide to Lungworm: what is it, how to spot the signs and protect your dog

    Bryony Tolhurst (Presenter)

    30 Apr 2020

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Animals (Journal)

    Bryony Tolhurst (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 20201 Sep 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work