I carried out my first significant field-based research for my MSc at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland in the framework of an international wild boar Sus scrofa management project at the French-Swiss border in the Geneva Basin, under the scientific supervision of Claude Fischer and Eric Baubet.
The main questions I addressed in my thesis were the effects of crop fencing and dissuasive feeding on wild boar space use and habitat selection patterns using telemetry data, and a robust estimate of wild boar population size. I co-authored my first peer-reviewed publication based on one of my thesis chapters using a capture-mark-resight approach to estimate wild boar abundance and density. I got involved with this wild boar project again during my first post-doc at UKZN, and analysed the entire 6-year telemetry dataset to understand drivers of space use in this wild boar population under contrasting management regimes in a fragmented landscape, close to the topic of my second MSc thesis chapter.
I also recently advised Kevin Morelle on one of his PhD chapters and collaborated on a paper modelling wild boar expansion into agro-ecosystems in Belgium.