Tim R. Hofmeester

Tim R. Hofmeester
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | SLU · Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

PhD
Researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

About

67
Publications
18,162
Reads
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603
Citations
Introduction
I am a researcher at the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå. I am mainly interested in the interactions between different mammal species, how these species affect humans and how humans affect these species. This is includes (but is not limited to) zoonotic diseases and crop/forestry damage. I apply technology (cameras, artificial intelligence) and citizen science to further our knowledge on human-wildlife coexistence.
Additional affiliations
October 2019 - present
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Researcher in the megafauna and sustainability (megasus) unit. Focusing on human-wildlife coexistence through citizen science and wildlife sensors.
October 2017 - September 2019
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Postdoc in the Scandcam and Beyond Moose projects
January 2017 - September 2017
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Researcher
Education
March 2012 - December 2016
Wageningen University & Research
Field of study
  • Disease Ecology
September 2009 - August 2011
Wageningen University & Research
Field of study
  • Animal Ecology

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Predators and competitors of vertebrates can in theory reduce the density of infected nymphs (DIN)—an often-used measure of tick-borne disease risk—by lowering the density of reservoir-competent hosts and/or the tick burden on reservoir-competent hosts. We investigated this possible indirect effect of predators by comparing data from 20 forest plot...
Article
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Obtaining reliable species observations is of great importance in animal ecology and wildlife conservation. An increasing number of studies use camera traps (CTs) to study wildlife communities, and an increasing effort is made to make better use and reuse of the large amounts of data that are produced. It is in these circumstances that it becomes p...
Article
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Abstract Gaining a better understanding of global environmental change is an important challenge for conserving biodiversity. Shifts in phenology are an important consequence of environmental change. Measuring phenology of different taxa simultaneously at the same spatial and temporal scale is necessary to study the effects of changes in phenology...
Article
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Global warming compels larger endothermic animals to adapt either physiologically or behaviourally to avoid thermal stress, especially in tropical ecosystems. Their adaptive responses may however be compromised by other constraints, such as predation risk or starvation. Using an exceptional camera-trap dataset spanning 32 protected areas across sou...
Article
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In spite of their potential important role in shaping small mammal population dynamics, weasel (Mustela nivalis) and stoat (Mustela erminea) are understudied due to the difficulty of detecting these species. Furthermore, their conservation status in many countries is unknown due to lack of monitoring techniques. There is thus an important need for...
Article
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Population density estimates are important for wildlife conservation and management. Several camera trapping‐based methods for estimating densities have been developed, one of which, the random encounter model (REM), has been widely applied due to its practical advantages such as no need for species‐specific study design. Nevertheless, most of the...
Article
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Wild ungulates are a major consumer of agricultural crops in human dominated landscapes. Across Europe, ungulate populations are leading to intensified human-wildlife conflicts. At the same time, ungulates play a vital role in the structuring and functioning of ecosystems, and are highly appreciated for recreational hunting. Thus, managers often fa...
Article
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Outdoor recreation is increasing and affects habitat use and selection by wildlife. These effects are challenging to study, especially for elusive species with large spatial requirements, as it is hard to obtain reliable proxies of recreational intensity over extensive areas. Commonly used proxies, such as the density of, or distance to, hiking pat...
Article
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Digital surveillance technologies enable a range of publics to observe the private lives of wild animals. Publics can now encounter wildlife from their smartphones, home computers, and other digital devices. These technologies generate public-wildlife relations that produce digital intimacy, but also summon wildlife into relations of care, commodif...
Article
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Many species show spatial variation in body size, often associated with climatic patterns. Studying species with contrasting geographical patterns related to climate might help elucidate the role of different drivers. We analysed changes in the body mass of two sympatric medium-sized carnivores—pine marten ( Martes martes ) and stone marten ( Marte...
Article
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In 2021 Sweden’s first national portal for citizen science will be launched to help researchers practice sustainable and responsible citizen science with different societal stakeholders. This paper present findings from two surveys on attitudes and experiences of citizen science among researchers at Swedish universities. Both surveys provided input...
Article
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Coat coloration plays an important role in communication, camouflage, and sexual selection in animals. Genetic mutations can lead to anomalous colorations such as melanism and leucism, where animals appear, respectively, darker or lighter than normal. Reporting abnormal coloration in wild animals is an important first step to understand the distrib...
Article
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Background Several ungulate species are feeding and propagation hosts for the tick Ixodes ricinus as well as hosts to a wide range of zoonotic pathogens. Here, we focus on Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi ( s.l. ), two important pathogens for which ungulates are amplifying and dilution hosts, respectively. Ungulate management is o...
Article
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A central goal in camera‐trapping (CT) studies is to maximize detection probability and precision of occupancy estimates while minimizing the number of CTs to reduce equipment and labor costs. Few studies, however, have examined the effect of CT number on detection probability. Moreover, historically, most studies focused on a specific species and...
Article
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Background The density of Ixodes ricinus nymphs infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum is one of the parameters that determines the risk for humans and domesticated animals to contract anaplasmosis. For this, I. ricinus larvae need to take a bloodmeal from free-ranging ungulates, which are competent hosts for A. phagocytophilum. Methods Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The density of Ixodes ricinus nymphs infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum is one of the parameters that determines the risk for humans and domesticated animals to contract anaplasmosis. For this, I. ricinus larvae need to take a blood meal from free-ranging ungulates, which are competent hosts for A. phagocytophilum. Methods: Here, w...
Article
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Camera traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular method of studying animal behavior. However, the impact of cameras on detected individuals—such as from mechanical noise, odor, and emitted light—has received relatively little attention. These impacts are particularly important in behavioral studies in conservation that seek to ascribe changes in beha...
Article
Cattle grazing has been suggested to reduce the risk for Lyme borreliosis by decreasing the density of questing Ixodes ricinus infected with Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. We tested the hypotheses that cattle grazing used in woodland management decreases the density of questing I. ricinus, and that it decreases the nympal infection prevalence of...
Article
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Wildlife is exposed to parasites from the environment. This parasite pressure, which differs among areas, likely shapes the immunological strategies of animals. Individuals differ in the number of parasites they encounter and host, and this parasite load also influences the immune system. The relative impact of parasite pressure vs. parasite load o...
Conference Paper
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In the geographic range of a species, environmental conditions vary greatly and in order to adapt to this variation, animals change their ecology, behaviour and/or morphological traits. Based on Bergmann’s rule, animals should adapt their body size to the accelerating climate change in the last few decades. However, do changes in climate conditions...
Article
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Background: The density of questing ticks infected with tick-borne pathogens is an important parameter that determines tick-borne disease risk. An important factor determining this density is the availability of different wildlife species as hosts for ticks and their pathogens. Here, we investigated how wildlife communities contribute to tick-born...
Article
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A recent review of the status of the Western or European polecat ( Mustela putorius ) by Croose et al. (Croose, E., J.W. Duckworth, S. Ruette, D.V. Skumatov, V.V. Kolesnikov and A.P. Saveljev. 2018. A review of the status of the Western polecat Mustela putorius : a neglected and declining species? Mammalia. 82: 550–564.) showed that the species is...
Article
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Background Elucidating which wildlife species significantly contribute to the maintenance of Ixodes ricinus populations and the enzootic cycles of the pathogens they transmit is imperative in understanding the driving forces behind the emergence of tick-borne diseases. Here, we aimed to quantify the relative contribution of four mustelid species in...
Article
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Background: Small mammals are essential in the enzootic cycle of many tick-borne pathogens (TBP). To understand their contribution to the genetic diversity of Borrelia afzelii, the most prevalent TBP in questing Ixodes ricinus, we compared the genetic variants of B. afzelii at three distinct genetic loci. We chose two plasmid loci, dbpA and ospC,...
Conference Paper
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Since 2010, the Dutch Small Mustelid Foundation (SKM) has been delving into the ecology and conservation status of small sustelids (Common weasel Mustela nivalis, Stoat M. erminea and Polecat M. putorius) in the Netherlands, with a particular focus on the development of reliable techniques to study these elusive animals in the field. The SKM has be...
Chapter
The Martes Complex consists of 11 species with commonalities in behaviour, form, and ecological role but disparities in management and conservation dilemmas that individual species face in the 21st century. Important knowledge gaps exist for most members of the Complex, including basic distribution data, abundance, population trend, impact of habit...
Article
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Across the northern hemisphere, land use changes and, possibly, warmer winters are leading to more abundant and diverse ungulate communities causing increased socioeconomic and ecological consequences. Reliable population estimates are crucial for sustainable management, but it is currently unclear which monitoring method is most suitable to track...
Article
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Background Understanding which factors drive population densities of disease vectors is an important step in assessing disease risk. We tested the hypothesis that the density of ticks from the Ixodes ricinus complex, which are important vectors for tick-borne diseases, is determined by the density of deer, as adults of these ticks mainly feed on de...
Article
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The availability of vertebrate hosts is a major determinant of the occurrence of ticks and tick-borne zoonoses in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems, and thus drives disease risk for wildlife, livestock and humans. However, it remains challenging to quantify the availability of vertebrate hosts in field settings, particularly for medium-sized to...
Article
Het aantal mensen dat naar de huisarts gaat met een tekenbeet is in de afgelopen decennia enorm toegenomen. Dit is waarschijnlijk een combinatie van betere bekendheid van teken bij recreanten en huisartsen, en een toename van het aantal teken in Nederland. De grote vraag is of natuurbeheerders iets kunnen doen aan het tekenprobleem. Dit was een van...
Article
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The availability of vertebrate hosts is a major determinant of the occurrence of ticks and tick-borne zoonoses in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems and thus drives disease risk for wildlife, livestock, and humans. However, it remains challenging to quantify the availability of vertebrate hosts in field settings, particularly for medium-sized to...
Chapter
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There has been substantial debate about the influence of vertebrate host diversity on Lyme borreliosis risk. In North America, studies investigating Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. and the Black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) have shown that on a large spatial scale there seems to be a negative correlation between host species diversity and Lyme borreli...
Chapter
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Large herbivores are the most important reproduction hosts for Ixodes ricinus, and, as such, play a major role in maintaining tick populations. As one individual deer can already feed many females during the tick season, we propose that the relationship between deer density and tick density can best be described by a step function rather than a lin...
Article
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Estimates of animal abundance are essential for understanding animal ecology. Camera traps can be used to estimate the abundance of terrestrial mammals, including elusive species, provided that the sensitivity of the sensor, estimated as the effective detection distance (EDD), is quantified. Here, we show how the EDD can be inferred directly from c...
Article
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Background. In the northern hemisphere, ticks of the Ixodidae family are vectors of diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne encephalitis. Most of these ticks are generalists and have a three-host life cycle for which they are dependent on three different hosts for their blood meal. Finding out which host speci...
Article
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In 2014 Haemaphysalis punctata was found in several locations on the mainland of the Netherlands for the first time since 1897. In the same areas Dermacentor reticulatus and Ixodes ricinus were found. Haemaphysalis punctata and D. reticulatus were tested for presence of Babesia spp. and Rickettsia spp. by PCR. Babesia spp. and spotted fever Rickett...
Article
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Especially in urbanized landscapes, habitat fragmentation and increasing numbers of infrastructural features may limit genetic exchange among wildlife populations. Yet, whether this results in genetic differentiation among individuals in different habitat fragments will depend on both the species studied and the composition of the landscape. Europe...
Article
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Momenteel zijn kleine marterachtigen ondergeschoven kindjes van onze natuurwereld, vooral in vergelijking met soorten als de otter, das en bommarter. Vermoedelijk komen ze minder voor dan vroeger, toen veel van het cultuurlandschap natuurlijker was. In dit artikel komt aan bod, hoe moeilijk de soort waar te nemen is. De traditionele inloopvallen vo...
Article
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Public health statistics recorded an increasing trend in the incidence of tick bites and erythema migrans in the Netherlands. We investigated whether the disease incidence could be predicted by a spatially explicit categorization model, based on environmental factors and a training set of tick absence-presence data. Presence and absence of Ixodes r...
Article
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The American mink (Neovison vison) is a north American mustelid that has been farmed for its fur in Europe since the 1920s. It has been feral in the Netherlands since 1958. This paper discusses its distribution, diet, the indications for reproduction, and whether feral animals are born in the wild or are escapees. The American mink mostly occurs in...
Conference Paper
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Ectoparasites are often regarded as being geographically limited, and therefore, sympatric species living in the same area, should host the same parasites. The geographic range of pine marten (Martes martes) and stone marten (M. foina) overlap on mainland Europe. Within this range, both species share part of their habitat. Therefore, their ectopara...
Article
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Het Wild zwijn (Sus scofa) mag in Limburg officieel alleen voorkomen in Nationaal Park De Meinweg en een deel van het Meerlebroek ten noorden van Swalmen. Hierbuiten geldt een nulstandbeleid: zwijnen worden in principe niet getolereerd en mogen worden afgeschoten. Op veel plaatsen in dit nulstandgebied worden echter Wilde zwijnen waargenomen en hun...
Conference Paper
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Vector-borne diseases pose an increasing threat to human health, as they are increasing in incidence. Many vector-borne diseases are zoonotic, which means that the pathogens causing these diseases are maintained by wildlife or domestic animal hosts. As both vector and pathogen populations are maintained by hosts, identifying which hosts are most im...
Article
In Limburg komen op verschillende plaatsen buiten het officiële leefgebied De Meinweg wilde zwijnen voor. De aantallen in deze zogenaamde nulstandsgebieden nemen toe, en ook in Noord-Brabant worden in toenemende mate wilde zwijnen gesignaleerd. In opdracht van de provincies Limburg en Noord-Brabant voerde Alterra een genetisch onderzoek uit naar de...

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