Gabriella Leighton

Gabriella Leighton
Rhodes University | RU · Department of Zoology and Entomology

PhD
Currently looking for post-doctoral opportunities

About

9
Publications
2,472
Reads
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67
Citations
Introduction
Recently awarded a PhD from Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, for thesis investigating the effect of urbanisation on the foraging ecology of caracal on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Currently completing a Post-Doctoral fellowship at Rhodes University using stable isotope analysis to explore caracal foraging ecology and potential marine subsidies. Interests in urban ecology, ecotoxicology and carnivore conservation.
Additional affiliations
May 2018 - March 2020
University of Cape Town
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Upgraded MSc to PhD in 2018 working with the Urban Caracal Project on the effects of urbanisation on the foraging ecology of Cape Town caracals
Education
January 2016 - April 2018
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences
January 2015 - December 2015
University of Cape Town
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (9)
Article
Full-text available
Summary: 1. Describing spatial patterns of phenotypic traits can be important for evolutionary and ecological studies. However, traditional approaches, such as fieldwork, can be time-consuming and expensive. Information technologies, such as Internet search engines, could facilitate the collection of these data. Google Images is one such technology...
Article
Full-text available
Sustainable offtake of any threatened species and objective monitoring thereof relies on data-driven and well-managed harvest quotas and permit compliance. We used web-sourced images of African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) trophy hunts to determine whether online photographs could assist in monitoring and documenting trophy hunting in Africa. O...
Article
Wildlife around cities bioaccumulate multiple harmful environmental pollutants associated with human activities. Exposure severity can vary based on foraging behaviour and habitat use, which can be examined to elucidate exposure pathways. Carnivores can play vital roles in ecosystem stability but are particularly vulnerable to bioaccumulation of po...
Article
Urbanisation and habitat loss are major threats to wildlife populations globally. Understanding how species respond to anthropogenic changes is therefore crucial to mitigating threats and developing conservation management strategies. We examined the habitat use of five fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus) in Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo, a...
Article
Full-text available
As natural habitat is progressively transformed, effective wildlife conservation relies on understanding the phenotypic traits that allow select species to persist outside of protected areas. Through behavioural flexibility such species may trade off abundant resources with risks, both real and perceived. As highly adaptable meso-carnivores, caraca...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation radically changes habitats and alters available resources. Populations of large, highly mobile species are often extirpated at the urban-wildland interface, while species like mesocarnivores may thrive by capitalising on changes in prey abundance. We investigated the diet of the caracal (Caracal caracal), a medium-sized felid inhabitin...
Article
Full-text available
The Publisher would like to correct the introduced formatting errors on the caption of Figure 1 and in the data in Table 2.
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presentation on early, preliminary data on diet of caracals on the Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, South Africa

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
We are very interested in harnessing open-access online resources to corroborate existing ecological tools/studies, thereby making them more efficient or streamlined. In addition, we hope to harness these meta-analytical approaches to explore new ecological questions/hypotheses on a previously unattainable scale using passive data collection by really passionate citizen scientists.
Project
1. Establish baseline information about the caracal population on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa: population size, health of individuals, and the distribution of caracals across the Cape Peninsula. 2. Evaluate the effects of urbanization on the behaviour, movement patterns, diet, and genetic health of caracals in the Cape Peninsula. 3. Assess threats to survival for caracals on the Cape Peninsula and potentially beyond to other parts of South Africa.