Adam T. Ford

I'm working on the indirect effects of mammalian carnivores in an African savanna, mediated through changes in density and behaviour of two species of territorial herbivore: dik-dik and impala; with field work taking place in Laikipia, Kenya.

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  • Research area
    Ecology
  • Lab Website
  • History

    Ph.D., Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC 2014M.Sc., Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa ON 2006
    B.Sc. Honours, Department of Geography, University of Victoria, Victoria BC 2002

My dissertation research addresses the effects of risk on the ecology of two species of Pecora, the ca.45kg gregarious impala and the ca.5kg obligate monogamous Guenther's dik-dik. With vastly different body sizes and mating structures, these two species provide useful models to illustrate the allometry of fear in a risky landscape. I have fitted several adult females from both species with GPS collars to look at movement metrics and habitat selection across a manipulated risk environment. Movements of both prey species will be linked to contemporary GPS fixes of African wild dogs to examine real-time responses to a common predator. From these mechanistic studies, I will then predict and test the landscape-scale and long-term effects of risk aversion on the distribution and behavior of both prey and forage resources. This work will link behavioral, community and conservation ecology through a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem structure. My research takes place at Mpala Research Center, Laikipia, Kenya, and is co-advised by Jake Goheen (University of Wyoming) and Peter Arcese (Forestry Department, University of British Columbia), in collaboration with Tim O'Brien (Wildlife Conservation Society), Rosie Woodroffe (Zoological Society of London), David Augustine (USGS) and the National Museums of Kenya.

Faculty of Science Dissertation Award

2015
/
For Research

Govener General Gold Medal Award for Top PhD Dissertation at the University of British Columbia

2015
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For Other

Milsom Prize for Top PhD Dissertation at UBC Zoology

2015
/
For Other
An experimental study on risk effects in a dwarf antelope, Madoqua guentheri
Journal of Mammalogy
Ford AT, Goheen, JR
2015
Context-dependent effects on spatial variation in deer-vehicle collisions
Ecosphere 6:art47 dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES140
Clevenger AP, Barrueto M, Gunson K, Caryl F, Ford AT
2015
Recovery of African wild dogs regulates prey abundance but does not trigger a trophic cascade
Ecology
Ford AT, Goheen JR, Augustine DJ, Kinnaird MF, O’Brien TG, Palmer TM, Pringle RM, Woodroffe R
2015
Anthropogenic effects on activity patterns of wildlife at crossing structures
Ecosphere http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES13-0
Barrueto M, Ford AT, Clevenger AP
2014
Large carnivores make savanna tree communities less thorny
Science 346(6207): 346-349
Ford AT, Goheen JR, Otieno TO, Bidner L, Isbell LA, Palmer TM, Ward D, Woodroffe R, Pringle RM
2014
Low functional redundancy among mammalian browsers in regulating an encroaching shrub (Solanum campylacanthum) in African savanna
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20140390
Pringle RM, Goheen JR, Palmer T, Charles G, DeFranco E, Hohbein R, Ford AT, Tarnita C
2014
Planning and prioritization strategies for phased highway mitigation using wildlife-vehicle collision data
Wildlife Biology 17: 1-13
Ford, A.T., A. P. Clevenger, M.P. Huijser, A. Dibb
2011
Banff Wildlife Crossings Project, Trans-Canada Highway, Alberta – A public-private partnership
Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife and Habitat Connectivity Ch. 7
Ford, A.T., A.P. Clevenger and K. Rettie
2010
Terrestrial Mitigation – Crossing structures, fencing and other highway design considerations
Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife and Habitat Connectivity Ch. 2
Clevenger, A.P. and A.T. Ford
2010
Validity of the prey-trap hypothesis for carnivore-ungulate interactions at wildlife-crossing structures
Conservation Biology 24 (6): 1679-1685
Ford, A.T., A.P. Clevenger
2010