Dr. Antonio Uzal joined the McLoughlin lab as a post-doctoral researcher from 2011 to 2013; he is currently a faculty member at Nottingham-Trent University in the UK. His projects on the Sable Island project were aimed at space-use and GIS-related programming, and questions of population dynamics including correlates of juvenile survival.
Prior to joining our lab, Antonio’s postgraduate work in Spain and in the United Kingdom and experience as a post-doctoral researcher is an honest reflection of his strong interest in understanding habitat use by animals, their behaviour and how this might translate into the conservation of wildlife and habitats. His research, strongly fieldwork based, has included the development of survey and monitoring protocols for wolf and deer populations, the study of the relationships between plants and herbivores and the ecological impacts of herbivores on plant and animal communities. His early curiosity for wildlife turned into a passion during his studies as an undergraduate student at the University of Oviedo in Spain. After gaining his degree he carried out considerable work in his home country of Spain through employment with various State Environmental Service Departments. There he worked as a freelance zoologist surveying wolf populations as a part of the first national survey based on extensive fieldwork. Antionio’s MSc, completed while working as a freelance consultant, investigated the factors affecting the population dynamics of wild boar (Sus scrofa) and resulted in the dissertation titled “Endogenous and exogenous constraints in the population changes of wild boar.” While in the U.K. his postgraduate work for The Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust and Reading University was focused on surveying invertebrates. At Bournemouth University, during Antionio’s role as a Research Assistant he was involved in projects involving the survey and identification of invertebrates and also the study of the landscape use of Tamworth pigs and their potential impacts on plants and animal communities. His PhD entitled “The interaction of Sika Deer with lowland heath mosaics” investigated the effects of habitat availability, landscape structure and human disturbance on Sika deer (Cervus nippon) habitat use and distribution at different spatial scales using telemetry and GIS technologies. Antonio also investigated the impacts of Sika deer on the communities of plant and animal communities of lowland heath..
After his PhD Antionio worked on the final stage of the TESS project (http://www.tess-project.eu), which is an international research project supported by the FP7 of the European commission. It aims to assist the integration of information about biodiversity and related environmental matters from the local level into planning and land-use decisions and to devise new ways of encouraging people to collect such information. Antionio has also been involved in a project led by The Deer Initiative (UK) that has gathered Deer Vehicle Collision (DVC) data with the aim of linking host spots of DVCs with different landscape and traffic/road characteristics and exploring the possibility of using DVCs as a surrogate of deer densities.
Antionio’s current research interests include animal behaviour, habitat selection, landscape ecology and the conservation and management of game species, carnivores and endangered species. He maintains an active collaboration with our lab at the University of Saskatchewan.