Academic Year 2020-2021
Institution Queen's University, Belfast


School: School of Biological Sciences

Project: The effects of maternal stress on offspring survival in the fallow deer

Supervisors: Gareth Arnott

Undergraduate Education: BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behavioural Sciences & Welfare, University of Greenwich partnered with Hadlow College

Postgraduate Education: MSc Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Queens University Belfast

Research: This research project involves working with a wild herd of fallow deer Dama dama in Phoenix Park, Dublin. I will be focusing on the behaviour of the females within the herd, understanding their sociality and maternal behaviour. One of my main focuses will be to investigate relationships between stress in pregnant mothers and the development and survival of their fawns. This will involve the collection of hair samples from both mother and fawns to provide a reading of their stress hormones- focusing on glucocorticoids. Whilst also completing behavioural observations in the field to analyse the relationships of mothers and fawns and to observe for maternal investment. There are many stressors within a wild animal’s environment including extreme weather, other animals and the public and this research provides an opportunity to investigate the impacts of these stressors.