Robbie McDonald

Research Group

Associate Research Fellow -  Matthew Silk  

Research Fellow - Caroline Keenan

PhD supervision - Tom James, Kim Jelbert, Lucy Steward, Jack Rumkee, Sarah Crowley George Swan Cecily Goodwin Olivia Bell Martina Cecchetti


Africa Field Course

Biology of Mammals 

Research Project

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Professor Robbie McDonald

Chair in Natural Environment


I am interested in mammal ecology and small carnivores in particular, having previously studied the biology of the weasel family. My research has included looking at the science, policy and practical implications of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers, and the impacts and management of invasive species. I hope to develop a programme of applied, interdisciplinary work that will help Cornwall, the South West, and the UK develop in a sustainable way. I lead the University's partnership with the National Wildlife Management Centre as part of a Wildlife Research Co-Operative.

I am also a member of the Biosciences department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

You can find out more by watching a two-minute video of me explaining my work.

Research interests

  • Animal ecology
  • Wildlife management and conservation
  • The resolution of human-wildlife conflicts
  • Wildlife vaccination
  • Biosecurity
  • The importance of social structure and disease control in wildlife

Current projects

  • Ecology and management of disease in wildlife, particularly tuberculosis in badgers
  • Conservation and management of wildlife, particularly British mammals
  • Ecology and management of invasive, non-native species
  • Ecological and social aspects of wildlife management
  • Understanding human conflicts over wildlife


1998 PhD Wildlife Biology (University of Bristol)
BSc Marine and Environmental Biology (St Andrews)


2011 Chair in Natural Environment, University of Exeter
Head of Wildlife Science and Deputy Chief Scientist, Food and Environment Research Agency
Head of Wildlife Disease Ecology Team/Head of Wildlife Ecology and Management Group, Central Science Laboratory
Centre Manager - Quercus, Queens University Belfast
Senior Scientist, Game Conservancy Trust
Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Waikato

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0) 1326 255720 
Building Environment and Sustainability Institute
Room 1.01
Address University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
Cornwall TR10 9FE