Roads through rainforests: measuring biodiversity impacts

Laura’s PhD ‘Mammals and their responses to roads and forest disturbance in tropical forest landscapes‘ (2017 – 2021)

Natasha’s PhD ‘Biodiversity change following the completion of Temburong Bridge, Brunei Darussalam‘ (2020 – 2024)

We currently lack the capacity to predict, which species and ecosystem functions are likely to disappear first from fragmented forested landscapes. We also need to be able to model and map fragmentation effects on biodiversity at landscape scales to achieve the integration of biodiversity values into national and local development strategies and planning processes by 2020, a global Aichi Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In her PhD project, Laura has been measuring, modelling, predicting and mapping responses of mammals to forest edges caused by road construction. The project’s focus has been on forests in Brunei Darussalam, which still cover vast tracts of Brunei‚Äôs land surfaces (unlike neighbouring countries in Borneo) but are increasingly exposed to infrastructure expansion projects. Laura has extended her focus to include forests in Gabon.

Natasha’s has started her PhD to focus on the consequences of Temburong Bridge construction on forest accessibility to degradation and hunting and the impacts that has had on mammal communities.

Project team supervisors: Dr Marion Pfeifer and Dr McGowan at Newcastle and Prof Ferry Slik and Prof Ulmar Grafe (Co-Supervisors) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. With further colleagues at UBD.