Research interests:

Metabarcoding
Biomonitoring
Forest arthropod biodiversity
forest management strategies
arthropod community dynamics
macroecology

Career history:

Graduated with an honours bachelor of science in 2015 from University College Dublin
In 2016 I worked as an ecological research assistant for the SmartGrass project in Ireland investigating the role of multi species grass swards in sustainable grassland management.
The summer 2019 I worked as a bat surveyor for an ecological consultancy.

Active research projects:

The title of my PhD is assessing arthropod biodiversity in human-impacted woodlands using next generation sequencing.
The goals of this research project are to explore the use of metabarcoding as a means for habitat health assessment using arthropod community structure as well as compare the effects of various forest management strategies on arthropod biodiversity.

Part 1: investigating the effects planting trees in monoculture vs two species mixtures has on carabid and vegetation biodiversity and abundance.
For this part a long term forest experiment was used which was originally set up to determine the effects of planting monocultures and equitable mixtures of four common UK plantation species on production value. In these monocultures and two species mixtures carabids and vegetational diversity and cover were measured and analysis done to determine the benefits of two species mixtures over monocultures.
Part 2: developing a rapid, inexpensive, fully auditable and standardised prototype method to assess levels of woodland biodiversity and as an efficient tool for biodiversity management and ecological research. This tool will be used in woodland sites of varying habitat structure complexity across a UK latitudinal gradient to test its efficiency as well as to investigate latitudinal and management strategy influences on arthropod communities.

Recent publications:

Naude, V.N., Becker, F.S., Mayberry, J.L., Vieira, W.F. and du Toit, J.T., 2019. Logging roads as surrogates for elephant trails: Facilitating social signaling by small forest ungulates despite increasing risks. Conservation Science and Practice, 1(7), p.e43.