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Ecology and Conservation

Dr Ana Nuno

Dr Ana Nuno

Research Fellow

 The Farmhouse 


The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK



2013 PhD Conservation Science (Imperial College London, UK) 
2007 MRes Biodiversity and Conservation (University of Leeds, UK) 
2005 BSc Biology (University of Porto, Portugal)


2014 Visiting researcher at Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, Australia 
2008-2009 Intern at Convergence Centre/GAIA (NGO), Aldeia das Amoreiras, Portugal
2005-2006 Research Assistant at Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland

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Research interests

My research interests are focused at understanding human-wildlife interactions and anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change in order to minimize conflict and support the sustainable use of wildlife resources. Particularly, I am interested in the application of more holistic approaches to support decision-making under uncertainty in conservation, such as adaptive management and management strategy evaluation. I am very keen to do some more work on bringing together biological and social data into unified frameworks, which I believe is essential to fully understanding and addressing conservation issues.

Research projects

Socio-economic aspects of turtle conservation in the Cayman Islands

Funding Body: The Darwin Initiative

The Cayman Islands once hosted one of the world’s largest turtle rookeries. For 500 years, turtle fishing underpinned economy and culture: the turtle is a national emblem enshrined in the flag and currency and turtle meat is considered a national dish. Nesting was nearly extirpated through harvesting so in 1968 a commercial captive breeding operation – Cayman Turtle Farm – was established to provide meat, reduce demand on wild stocks, and replenish them through releases. The farm is now owned by the CI government and legal protections for wild turtles were instituted in 1978.

However, uncertainty about the conservation effectiveness of ongoing interventions, hard-to-quantify illegal harvest, little knowledge about cultural and socio-economic drivers and increasing conflicts between different stakeholders affect the managers’ ability to make robust decisions about the conservation and exploitation of turtles in the study area. This project with Dr Annette Broderick, Professor Brendan Godley and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment aims to assess socioeconomic drivers in the demand for turtle meat in Cayman including the role of the Cayman Turtle Farm in meeting this demand and the vulnerability of wild stocks to illegal take. Resulting knowledge will be used to inform management and reduce threats to wild marine turtles.

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Journal articles

Silk M, Crowley S, Woodhead A, Nuno A (In Press). Considering connections between Hollywood and biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology
Fairbrass A, Nuno A, Bunnefeld N, Milner-Gulland EJ (In Press). Investigating determinants of compliance with wildlife protection laws: bird persecution in Portugal. European Journal of Wildlife Research
Walker JMM, Godley BJ, Nuno A (In Press). Media framing of the Cayman Turtle Farm: implications for conservation conflicts. Journal for Nature Conservation
St John F, Brockington D, Bunnefeld N, Duffy R, Homewood K, Jones JPG, Keane A, Milner-Gulland EJ, Nuno A, Razafimanahaka J, et al (In Press). Research ethics: Assuring anonymity at the individual level may not be sufficient to protect research participants from harm. Biological Conservation
Guerrero AM, Bennett NJ, Wilson KA, Carter N, Gill D, Mills M, Ives CD, Selinske MJ, Larrosa C, Bekessy S, et al (2018). Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus. ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY, 23(3).  Author URL.
Hinsley A, Keane A, St John FAV, Ibbett H, Nuno A (2018). Asking sensitive questions using the Unmatched Count Technique: Applications and guidelines for conservation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Henriques M, Granadeiro JP, Monteiro H, Nuno A, Lecoq M, Cardoso P, Regalla A, Catry P (2018). Not in wilderness: African vulture strongholds remain in areas with high human density. PLoS One, 13(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Nuno A, Blumenthal JM, Austin TJ, Bothwell J, Ebanks-Petrie G, Godley BJ, Broderick AC (2018). Understanding implications of consumer behavior for wildlife farming and sustainable wildlife trade. Conserv Biol, 32(2), 390-400. Abstract.  Author URL.
Duncan EM, Botterell ZLR, Broderick AC, Galloway TS, Lindeque PK, Nuno A, Godley BJ (2017). A global review of marine turtle entanglement in anthropogenic debris: a baseline for further action. ENDANGERED SPECIES RESEARCH, 34, 431-448.  Author URL.
Hancock JM, Furtado S, Merino S, Godley BJ, Nuno A (2017). Exploring drivers and deterrents of the illegal consumption and trade of marine turtle products in Cape Verde, and implications for conservation planning. ORYX, 51(3), 428-436. Abstract.
Hinsley A, Nuno A, Ridout M, St John F, Roberts D (2016). Estimating the extent of CITES non-compliance amongst traders and end-consumers; lessons from the global orchid trade. Conservation Letters
Nuno A (2015). Achieving ecological conservation impact is not enough: Setting priorities based on multiple criteria. Animal Conservation, 18(1), 16-17. Abstract.
Keane AM, Nuno A, St John FAV (2015). Data collected using the randomised response technique must be analysed using specialised statistical methods. Biological Conservation
Nuno A, Milner-Gulland EJ, Bunnefeld N (2015). Detecting abundance trends under uncertainty: the influence of budget, observation error and environmental change. Animal Conservation, 18 (4), 331-340.
Maxwell SL, Milner-Gulland EJ, Jones JPG, Knight AT, Bunnefeld N, Nuno A, Bal P, Earle S, Watson JEM, Rhodes JR, et al (2015). Environmental science. Being smart about SMART environmental targets. Science, 347(6226), 1075-1076.  Author URL.
Nuno A, St John F (2015). How to ask sensitive questions in conservation: a review of specialised questioning techniques. Biological Conservation, 189, 5-15.
Nuno A, Bunnefeld N, Milner-Gulland EJ (2014). Managing social-ecological systems under uncertainty: implementation in the real world. Ecology & Society, 2(19). Abstract.  Author URL.
Maxwell S, Rhodes JR, Bal P, Bunnefeld N, Earle S, Knight AT, Milner-Gulland EJ, Jones JPG, Nuno A, Watson JEM, et al (2014). Sustainability: Root targets in consensus. Nature, 514(7253).
Nuno A, Bunnefeld N, Naiman LC, Milner-Gulland EJ (2013). A novel approach to assessing the prevalence and drivers of illegal bushmeat hunting in the serengeti. Conserv Biol, 27(6), 1355-1365. Abstract.  Author URL.
Nuno A, Bunnefeld N, Milner-Gulland EJ (2013). Matching observations and reality: using simulation models to improve monitoring under uncertainty in the Serengeti. J Appl Ecol, 50(2), 488-498. Abstract.  Author URL.
Milner-Gulland EJ, Arroyo B, Bellard C, Blanchard J, Bunnefeld N, Delibes-Mateos M, Edwards C, Nuno A, Palazy L, Reljic S, et al (2010). New directions in management strategy evaluation through cross-fertilization between fisheries science and terrestrial conservation. Biol Lett, 6(6), 719-722. Abstract.  Author URL.

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