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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

Master, University of Reading

Bachelor, University of Manchester

External positions

External Examiner PhD, Liverpool John Moores University

External Examiner MPhil, University of Sussex


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

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Research Output

  • 20 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

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.

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
  • A citizen science based survey method for estimating the density of urban carnivores

    Scott, D., Baker, R., Charman, N., Karlsson, H., Yarnell, R., Mill, A., Smith, G. & Tolhurst, B., 22 May 2018, In : PLoS ONE.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • An in vitro evaluation of fibrinogen and gelatin containing cryogels as dermal regeneration scaffolds

    Allan, I., Tolhurst, B., Shevchenko, R., Dainiak, M., Illsley, M., Ivanov, A. E., Jungvid, H., Galaev, I. Y., James, S., James, S. E. & Mikhalovsky, S., 3 May 2016, In : Biomaterials Science. 4, 6, p. 1007-1014 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    Adaptations of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) for urban living

    Bryony Tolhurst (Presenter)
    9 Oct 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Animals (Journal)

    Bryony Tolhurst (Reviewer)
    21 Jul 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Ecology and behaviour of UK urban synanthropic mammals

    Bryony Tolhurst (Presenter)
    13 Jun 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sci (Organisational unit)

    Bryony Tolhurst (Chair)
    16 May 2019 → …

    Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesMembership of professional body