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Andrew Bowkett

Research Interests

My main research interest is in applying genetic techniques to questions in wildlife conservation. In addition, I am interested in a wide range of fields relating to conservation including the natural history of African forest mammals, ecological survey methods, and captive-breeding and reintroduction programmes. I undertook my PhD whilst based part-time at the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (the parent body of Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts and Newquay Zoo) where I am now Field Conservation & Research Programmes Manager. This role allows me to continue to develop conservation research at the University of Exeter in collaboration with MEEG.

Current Projects

My PhD research (completed in 2012) used molecular tools to address questions concerning the conservation of forest antelope species in Tanzania. The project was based in the Udzungwa Mountains and focused on two species: Harvey's duiker Cephalophus harveyi, a locally abundant habitat tolerant species found throughout east African forests, and Abbot's duiker C. spadix, an endangered species only found in the highland forests of Tanzania. Together with collaborators we used mitochondrial DNA sequences extracted from field collected dung to reliably identify samples to species level. We also successfully developed multiplexed panels of nuclear microsatellite markers for individual identification and to investigate landscape-scale genetic variation. This work revealed interesting genetic patterns in forest antelope populations as well as identifying several potential directions for future research. Publication of these results is ongoing and I am also involved with a project to develop molecular diagnostic tests for amphibian disease. 

Publications  

Bowkett, A.E., Jones, T., Laizzer, R.L., Plowman, A.B. and Stevens, J.R. (In press). Can molecular data validate morphometric identification of faecal pellets in Tanzanian forest antelope species? Conservation Genetics Resources DOI 10.1007/s12686-013-9935-3

Jones, T. and Bowkett A.E. (2012) New populations of an Endangered Tanzanian antelope confirmed using DNA and camera-traps. Oryx 46: 14-15

Seki, H.A., Bowkett, A.E., Bungard, M.J., Doggart, N. and Menegon, M. (2011). A survey for three threatened, narrow endemic amphibian species in the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, Tanzania. Oryx 45: 474

Andanje, S.A., Bowkett, A.E., Agwanda, B., Ngaruiya, G.W., Plowman,A.B., Wacher, T. and Amin, R. (2011). A new population of the critically endangered Aders’ duiker Cephalophus adersi confirmed from northern coastal Kenya. Oryx 45: 444-447

Buller, V. and Bowkett, A.E. (2011) Environmental predictors of reptile presence under artificial refugia: implications for surveys and monitoring. BIAZA Research Group Newsletter 12.2 Available here.

Griffiths, A.M., Machado-Schiaffino, G., Dillane, E., Coughlan, J., Horreo, J.L., Bowkett, A.E., Minting, P., Toms, S., Roche, W., Gargan, P., McGinnity, P., Cross, T., Bright, D., Garcia-Vazquez, E. and Stevens, J.R. (2010) Genetic stock identification of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) populations in the southern part of the European range. BMC Genetics, 11, 31

Ntie, S., Johnston, A.R., Mickala, P., Bowkett, A.E., Jansen van Vuuren, B., Colyn, M., Telfer, P., Maisels, F., Hymas, O., Rouyer, R.L., Wallace R.A., LeBlanc, K., van Vliet, N., Sonet, G., Verheyen, E., Pires, D., Wickings, E.J., Lahm, S.A. and Anthony, N.M. (2010) A molecular diagnostic for identifying Central African forest artiodactyls from faecal pellets. Animal Conservation, 13: 80-93

Bowkett, A.E., Plowman, A.B., Stevens, J.R., Davenport, T.R.B. and Jansen van Vuuren, B (2009) Genetic testing of dung identification for antelope surveys in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. Conservation Genetics, 10: 251-255

Bowkett A.E. (2009) Recent captive-breeding proposals and the return of the Ark concept to global species conservation. Conservation Biology, 23: 773-776

Rovero, F., Bowkett, A., De Luca, D., Jones, T., Marshall, A., Msirikale, J. and Mtui, A. (2009) Camera-trapping to study forest mammals in the Udzungwa Mountains: results from five years of research. Proceedings of the 6th TAWIRI Scientific Conference. 3-6 December 2007, Arusha, Tanzania, 268-276

Bowkett, A.E., Rovero, F. and Marshall, A.R (2008) The use of camera-trap data to model habitat use by antelope species in the Udzungwa Mountain forests, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology , 46: 479-487

Lunt, N., Bowkett, A.E. and Plowman, A.B. (2007) Implications of assumption violation in density estimates of antelope from dung-heap counts: a case study on grey duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) in Zimbabwe, African Journal of Ecology, 45, 382-389

Rovero, F., Doggart, N., Bowkett, A.E. and Burgess, N. (2006) New records for Lowe’s servaline genet from the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Oryx, 40: 139

Melfi, V.A., Bowkett, A., Plowman, A.B. and Pullen, K.P (2005) Do zoo designers know enough about animals? In: Replication or Innovation. Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Zoo Design. Plowman, A.B. and Tonge, S. (eds.) Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, Paignton, 119-127

Bowkett A.E. (2003) The conservation status of small antelope: a review based on the African Antelope Database 1998, In: Ecology and conservation of small antelope. A. Plowman (ed.). Filander Verlag, Fürth, 171-178

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