My research topic aims to identify potential differences in winning strategies for dung beetles (Subfamily: Scarabaeinae) in areas that utilise land-sparing conservation techniques versus areas that use land-sharing techniques, in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo.
To do this I will use allometric analysis, particularly measurement of wing size and loading capacity, to extrapolate differences in dispersal ability and behaviour in a representative sample of dung beetle species across the two study sites. Rainforests in Borneo are facing serious threat as a result of intensive logging and conversion to agricultural land, particularly palm oil plantations. The controversial debate between land-sparing and land-sharing techniques is of key importance to this endangered ecosystem, and due to their high diversity, ecological significance, phenotypic plasticity and sampling ease, dung beetles make a superior indicator taxon when attempting to determine the ecological impact of particular conservation techniques.
Growing up in Charles Darwin’s hometown and the scenic natural landscapes of Shropshire has probably helped my long standing passion for nature and wildlife. I particularly love invertebrates, likely because they were the easiest to get my hands on as a child, turning over rocks in my garden or scouring rock pools during trips to the beach. More recently I have taken up wildlife photography which was particularly enjoyable during a trip to the Peruvian Amazon during my zoology undergrad at Aberystwyth, where I was able to truly appreciate the incredible diversity and beauty of wildlife in the tropics. I also enjoy travelling, reading, (occasional) visits to the gym, wild camping, and last but not least; the pub.
You can find my wildlife photography here: https://www.instagram.com/petertarrant_wildlife/