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Ecology and Conservation

 Tom Dando

Tom Dando

PhD Researcher

 Environment and Sustainability Institute Desk 26, Room 1.03


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


PhD Researcher - studying the social and ecological feasibility of re-introducing wildcats (felis silvestris) into England and Wales, in partnership with Vincent Wildlife Trust and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust


2018 - MRes Conservation Biology - University of Sussex

2016 - BSc Ecology and Wildlife Conservation - Bournemouth University

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Research interests

My research interests are centred around human-wildlife conflict and coexistence, behavioural ecology, applied conservation research and rewilding.

Research projects

Wildcat Project:

This project will investigate the potential for, and challenges to, wildcat recovery and restoration outside of their current Scottish refugium, to their former range in Wales and England. It will undertake interdisciplinary work towards understanding the ecological and social feasibility and practicalities of wildcat restoration, including qualitative studies of the challenges of reconciling wildcat conservation with the interests of domestic cat owners, and of potential conflict with farming and shooting interests. Quantitative studies will address the suitability of source populations of wildcats (including captive-breeding), population viability, landscape suitability and means of managing hybridization. The project aims include building a social-ecological network around conservation of iconic species in contested landscapes, alongside delivering applied outcomes of protocols and practices towards reintroductions.

The project will work with and is funded by partners at The Vincent Wildlife Trust (, who have recently led the successful restoration of pine martens to Wales, and global conservation leaders, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust ( Project supervisors are Professor Robbie McDonald of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (, Dr Steve Carter of the Vincent Wildlife Trust and Dr Rich Young of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Renowned conservationist Professor Carl Jones is a project advisor.

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Journal articles

Dando TR, Crowley SL, Young RP, Carter SP, McDonald RA (2023). Social feasibility assessments in conservation translocations. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 38(5), 459-472.

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