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Harriet R. Thatcher

Bio: Harriet R. Thatcher is an academic researcher from University of KwaZulu-Natal. The author has contributed to research in topics: Urban wildlife & Vervet monkey. The author has an hindex of 5, co-authored 9 publications receiving 56 citations. Previous affiliations of Harriet R. Thatcher include Liverpool John Moores University & University of Edinburgh.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated the effect of anthropogenic influences, both human food consumption (positive) and human-monkey conflict (negative), on the time budgets of vervet monkeys in an urban landscape.

23 citations

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TL;DR: The applicability of using parasite load to measure the effect of urbanization on wildlife is shown, with the more urban vervet monkey populations had a significantly higher parasite richness and abundance.
Abstract: Vervet monkeys, Chlorocebus pygerythrus, thrive in urban areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and present a suitable model to assess parasitic load as a measure of anthropogenic disturbance, such as urbanization. We collected vervet monkey faecal samples from four study sites representing a gradient of land use and urbanization. We assessed faecal parasites using the faecal flotation method calculating eggs per gram and parasite richness. Overall, the more urban vervet monkey populations had a significantly higher parasite richness and abundance. Our study shows the applicability of using parasite load to measure the effect of urbanization on wildlife.

18 citations

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TL;DR: This protocol for station-training adult rhesus macaques in social groups of 2–9 adults successfully trained to sit by individual targets and dominance rank was the only predictor of time taken to train.

14 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe protocols for two preferential-looking attention bias tasks with 109 rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, who had been trained to sit by a target, but received no other training.

13 citations

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TL;DR: This paper reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine trends and presented a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010).
Abstract: Urbanisation is rapidly transforming natural landscapes with consequences for biodiversity. Little is documented on the response of African wildlife to urbanisation. We reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to determine trends. Connected habitat mosaics of natural and anthropogenic green spaces are critical for urban wildlife persistence. We present a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010), which documents this sequence for vertebrate species persistence, based on the perspective of our research. Species in suburbia exhibit an initial phase where behavioural and ecological flexibility, life-history traits and phenotypic plasticity either contribute to their success, or they stay at low numbers. Where successful, the next phase is a rapid increase in populations and distribution; anthropogenic food resources and alternate breeding sites are effectively exploited. The modified third phase either continues to spread, plateau or decline.

12 citations


Cited by
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Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors build up from the following basic facts: (i) Anyone who counts or measures is collecting statistics, and (ii) anyone who then tries to extract information from these counts and measures, is trying to analyse statistics and interpret the results.
Abstract: When trying to clarify what I mean by ""state of statistics"", I find myself building up from the following basic facts. (i) Anyone who counts or measures is collecting statistics. Anyone who then tries to extract information from these counts or measures, is trying to analyse statistics and interpret the results.

354 citations

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TL;DR: A biased and incomplete snapshot of this field focusing on the major finding that many organisms use two distinct strategies to solve the explore-exploit dilemma: a bias for information and the randomization of choice.
Abstract: Explore-exploit decisions require us to trade off the benefits of exploring unknown options to learn more about them, with exploiting known options, for immediate reward. Such decisions are ubiquitous in nature, but from a computational perspective, they are notoriously hard. There is therefore much interest in how humans and animals make these decisions and recently there has been an explosion of research in this area. Here we provide a biased and incomplete snapshot of this field focusing on the major finding that many organisms use two distinct strategies to solve the explore-exploit dilemma: a bias for information ('directed exploration') and the randomization of choice ('random exploration'). We review evidence for the existence of these strategies, their computational properties, their neural implementations, as well as how directed and random exploration vary over the lifespan. We conclude by highlighting open questions in this field that are ripe to both explore and exploit.

92 citations

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TL;DR: Predicting how zoonotic diseases emerge and spread in response to anthropogenic LUC requires more empirical and data synthesis studies that link host ecology and responses with pathogen ecology and disease spread.
Abstract: Zoonotic pathogens and parasites that are transmitted from vertebrates to humans are a major public health risk with high associated global economic costs. The spread of these pathogens and risk of transmission accelerate with recent anthropogenic land-use changes (LUC) such as deforestation, urbanisation, and agricultural intensification, factors that are expected to increase in the future due to human population expansion and increasing demand for resources.We systematically review the literature on anthropogenic LUC and zoonotic diseases, highlighting the most prominent mammalian reservoirs and pathogens, and identifying avenues for future research.The majority of studies were global reviews that did not focus on specific taxa. South America and Asia were the most-studied regions, while the most-studied LUC was urbanisation. Livestock were studied more within the context of agricultural intensification, carnivores with urbanisation and helminths, bats with deforestation and viruses, and primates with habitat fragmentation and protozoa.Research into specific animal reservoirs has improved our understanding of how the spread of zoonotic diseases is affected by LUC. The behaviour of hosts can be altered when their habitats are changed, impacting the pathogens they carry and the probability of disease spreading to humans. Understanding this has enabled the identification of factors that alter the risk of emergence (such as virulence, pathogen diversity, and ease of transmission). Yet, many pathogens and impacts of LUC other than urbanisation have been understudied.Predicting how zoonotic diseases emerge and spread in response to anthropogenic LUC requires more empirical and data synthesis studies that link host ecology and responses with pathogen ecology and disease spread. The link between anthropogenic impacts on the natural environment and the recent COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to understand how anthropogenic LUC affects the risk of spillover to humans and spread of zoonotic diseases originating in mammals.

91 citations

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TL;DR: An ecological perspective is focused on to envision a research pipeline that connects different scales of data and predictions from the aims of discovery to intervention and to discuss how greater integration and exchange between data and prediction generated across these varying scales could ultimately help generate more actionable forecasts and interventions.
Abstract: Disease emergence events, epidemics and pandemics all underscore the need to predict zoonotic pathogen spillover. Because cross-species transmission is inherently hierarchical, involving processes ...

33 citations

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used applied geospatial methods to reveal spatial patterns of crop-raiding by nonhuman primates and preventive actions by farmers in the Taita Hills, southeast Kenya.

29 citations