Earthwatch Scientist, Antonio Uzal, Ph.D.

Antonio Uzal, Ph.D.

Nottingham Trent University

I am originally from Spain, where I earned a degree in Biology and a master's in Ecology. Following my degree, I worked as an ecological consultant in Spain, focusing on monitoring wolf populations for four years. In 2004, I relocated to the UK to pursue a Ph.D. Over the years, I held various short positions at Bournemouth University, Reading University, and the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust. In 2010, I successfully completed my Ph.D., which centered on the ecological impacts of Sika deer (Cervus nippon) on lowland heath. Afterward, I served as an ecological advisor for The Deer Initiative and undertook a postdoc at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Subsequently, in 2013, I commenced a lecturing position at Nottingham Trent University. I reside with my family and two dogs in the Nottinghamshire countryside, indulging in outdoor activities and scuba diving.

Why are you interested in your research focus?

During the last twenty years, my research has focused on understanding underpinning ecological processes mediated by human activities, using novel techniques to monitor wild populations, particularly mammals, and producing evidence-based conservation tools. Through the years, I have built a strong and multidisciplinary research group with national and international collaborators, working on research projects that have made significant theoretical contributions to the understanding of how population density impacts the selection of resources by wild animals and how human activities impact ecological processes and apex predator behavior. My vision for my future research is to respond to the needs of evidence-based management, policy, and regulations in hunting, animal welfare, the restoration of degraded ecosystems, and the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. As a conservation biologist, I am very interested in restoration ecology as a tool to improve the resilience of ecosystems and local communities.

What is one of your favorite moments in the field?

Selecting a single favorite moment from my time in the field is nearly impossible, but if pressed, it would likely be one of those enchanting evenings spent in Spain while searching for wolves. Alone in total silence, I felt a profound connection with my natural surroundings. Sometimes, I saw wolves, but other times, I would be lucky to see brown bears, wild boars, deer, or the little things like voles or martens. Equally rewarding is the joy of sharing these moments with students during field trips. Observing the awe on their faces when they encounter something they find remarkable, be it a centipede or a bear, adds a special dimension to my experiences in the field.


I studied a BSc in Biology (Botany and Zoology) at the University of Oviedo (Spain), where I also completed an MSc in Ecology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education. I studied for my Ph.D. at Bournemouth University (UK) with a project focused on the ecological impacts of a non-native deer species (Sika deer) on the highly threatened lowland heaths. In 2015, I obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and was a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

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