Dr Claire Holt, PhD

  • Lecturer in Forestry and Conservation
  • Institute of Science and Environment
  • Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)
  • Conservation
Dr Claire Holt, PhD

Biography

Claire graduated with a BSc Honors degree in Animal Conservation Science and won the 2007 School of Natural Resources Top Dissertation prize for her research on red squirrels in Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria. After graduating Claire was awarded a Peoples Trust for Endangered Species internship to continue her undergraduate research on red squirrels in Cumbria. This research involved population viability analysis and habitat network modelling and was a joint venture by the University of Cumbria, Forest Research Northern Research Station and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Claire has been employed as a research assistant, undertaken consultancy work on squirrel behaviour and in 2012 completed a PhD in Conservation Biology. The three year PhD project was funded by Forestry Commission GB and the National School of Forestry at the University of Cumbria. The research used a combination of landscape computer modelling, DNA sequence analysis and GPS and radio telemetry to assess grey squirrel dispersal patterns. Claire continued assessing modelling techniques for invasive forest pests as a Post-Doctoral research fellow at the University of Cumbria, funded by Forestry Commission GB. Currently Claire lecturers in Forest Health and Protection, Wildlife Management and Research Methods. Current research interests are in invasive species, pest species, utlising modelling techniques and conservation genetics.

Qualifications and memberships

Qualifications

- PhD in Conservation Biology (Lancaster University, 2012)

- PgC in Teaching and Learning for Higher Education (University of Cumbria, 2017)

Memberships

- British Ecological Society

- Society of Conservation Biology

- Mammals Trust

Academic and research interests

Conservation of British mammals, Red and grey squirrel population dynamics, Invasive species management, Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology, Landscape Genetics and Forest Health.

Research supervision

Current PhD student supervision

Hannah Field - Can place-based decision making be used to protect the natural resources and local communities?

Steve Hewitt - Habitat fidelity, ecology, and biogeography of Diptera on exposed riverine sediments.

Completed PhD

Dr Sara Iversen - Investigating stakeholder perceptions of woodland expansion in the uplands of Cumbria. Project is funded by the National School of Forestry at the University of Cumbria and the Forestry Commission.

 

Publications

Peer-reviewed papers

Reports

  • Stevenson, C.D. (2012) Modelling ecological networks and dispersal in the grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis. PhD Thesis, Lancaster University.
  • Stevenson, C.D. (2008) Modelling red squirrel population viability under a range of landscape scenarios in fragmented woodland ecosystem on the Solway Plain, Cumbria, UK. Peoples Trust for Endangered Species report. Centre for Wildlife Conservation, University of Cumbria.

Conference Presentations

  • Stevenson, C.D., Nevin, O.T. Watts, K.; Ramsey, A.D. & Bailey, S. (2012). Sequence variation and GPS telemetry validation of least cost modelling for the invasive grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis. Invited Symposium presentation. 3rd European Congress of Conservation Biology, Glasgow, UK, 28 Aug -1 Sep 2012.
  • Stevenson, C.D., Nevin, O.T., Watts, K.; Ramsey, A.D. & Bailey, S. (2011). Modelling ecological networks and dispersal in the grey squirrel. Oral presentation. British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Sheffield, UK, 12 -14 September 2011.
  • Stevenson, C.D.; Nevin, O.T.; Ramsey, A.D., Watts, K. & Bailey, S. (2009) A validation of a behaviourally-informed landscape model using historical observations of species invasion. Poster presentation. 2nd European Congress of Conservation Biology, Prague, Czech Republic, 1- 5 September 2009.
  • Stevenson, C.D.; Moseley, D.G.; Ramsey, A.D. & Nevin, O.T. (2008) Modeling red squirrel population viability under a range of landscape scenarios in a fragmented woodland ecosystem on the Solway Plain, Cumbria, UK. Poster presentation. 22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, 13 - 17 July 2008.