Introducing new Associate Editors for Journal of Zoology – Part 1


Foto Christine BöhmerChristine Böhmer, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France

It is my great honour to serve as Associate Editor for the Journal of Zoology and I am delighted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you!

During my previous career, I have been fortunate to travel around the world gaining work experience in prestigious institutions in the USA, Germany, Japan and France. I have been privileged to work alongside internationally renowned experts in the fields of palaeontological and biological research. My expertise lies in comparative anatomy, palaeopathology, evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) and functional morphology. I have worked on a variety of vertebrate groups including cyclostomes (lampreys), salamanders (axolotl), crocodiles, birds and extinct dinosaurs, with a special focus on living and fossil archosaurs and mammals. My research interest lies in the evolution, function and development of the vertebrate body plan through deep time and, particularly, I would like to reveal the patterns and mechanisms underlying the evolution of the vertebral column in tetrapods. Other main projects include the evolutionary history of dentition and the form-function relationships in the limbs.

As palaeobiologist and Associate Editor, I would like to encourage my colleague researchers to consider publishing in the Journal of Zoology because it is a high-quality journal of international renown that promotes interdisciplinary research. Founded in 1830 by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and being distinct from other specialist journals, it represents the interface between zoological disciplines such as anatomy, behaviour, ecology, physiology, genomics, developmental biology, systematics and genetics, including phylogenetics. Thus, the Journal of Zoology is a perfect tool to disseminate your research to a wide audience!

Are you working on a project that is truly integrative, developing an understanding of the greater picture? Are you preparing a manuscript on research that is original, of broad interest and hypothesis-driven? Then, I warmly welcome you to submit your work now and join our authors who have already published with the Journal of Zoology.


Martin LeclercMartin Leclerc, University of Victoria, Canada:

I am very pleased to be a new member of the editorial board of Journal of Zoology and I am looking forward to reading your manuscripts on animal ecology and animal evolution.

I am now a postdoctoral researcher at University of Victoria. I arrived here a few months ago and I am working to transpose ideas, concepts, and theories from predator-prey dynamics to systems where humans are the predator, e.g. when we exploit wild populations by fishing or hunting. My interest in better understanding the role of humans as predators developed during my PhD when I investigated the ecological and evolutionary impacts of hunting on the Scandinavian brown bear behaviour. Earlier in my research career I also explored the impacts of logging activities on woodland caribou habitat selection and reproductive success.

My research focuses mainly on better understanding and quantifying the impacts of human activities on the ecology and evolution of wildlife. I have a quantitative background and I have mostly worked with large mammals. I often use tracking devices such as GPS collars and accelerometers to study wildlife directly in the wild. I like it when important ecological or evolutionary theoretical questions can help to define well-informed management and conservation actions.

As a scholar and an editor, I am looking for well-executed statistical analyses that help answer ecological and evolutionary questions that transcend a single species. I also like manuscripts that use a multidisciplinary approach or research questions that bridge the gap between disciplines. I feel privileged to be able to serve on the editorial board of Journal of Zoology and I am looking forward to reading your manuscripts.


Barbara PiconeBarbara Picone, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

I have a degree in natural sciences and a PhD in animal biology. I moved to South Africa just over ten years ago from Italy where I completed my doctoral studies.

My background broadly spans the areas of bioinformatics and evolutionary genetics and aspects of chromosome biology including, molecular cytogenetics, systematics and phylogenetics of mammals (non-human primates specifically).

I am currently affiliated with the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (animal genetics, MMB-molecular breeding and biodiversity). My research focuses on analyzing high-throughput genomic and transcriptomic data from marine animals such as the South African abalone, as well as mammalian species (i.e. wildebeest). To tackle these biological questions, I have created a series of algorithmic approaches for solving problems in de novo sequency assembly.

Generally, my research focuses on the opportunities at the intersection of computation and biology: in particular, I am interested in enabling and handling biological data, where I can built tools and approaches that harness large data sets to direct hypothesis. Prior to that, I spent three years at the South African Bioinformatics Institute, University of Western Cape where I developed generic approaches to computational diseases gene prediction (e.g., tuberculosis, HIV, investigation of genetic factors underlying susceptibility to salt-sensitive hypertension in South African patients).

Given this background, I look forward to contributing my experience in support of this outstanding journal and receiving interesting papers to my attention.


Steph Periquet_2

Stéphanie Périquet, Ongava Research Centre, Namibia

Hi there!

I am Stéphanie Périquet and I was born in the snowy French Alps. I have been passionate about African wildlife, especially carnivores, since my first trip to Namibia in 1999. I managed to get back to Africa in 2008, and since then, I never really left. I worked for 7 years (2008-2013) in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, for my MSc and PhD (both conducted with the Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Lab, CNRS, and the University of Lyon 1 in collaboration with the Hwange Lion Research group from WildCRU, Oxford University). I then moved to South Africa for a 2 years postdoc (University of the Free State) and finally back to Namibia in 2017 (Cheetah Conservation Fund). I am now one of the resident researchers at the Ongava Research Centre, bordering the Etosha National Park.

During my time in Africa, I worked on ungulate group dynamics and behaviour, prey-predator relationships, coexistence between apex predators (spotted hyaenas and lions) and ecology of small carnivores (bat-eared foxes). My work is mainly field based, involving long hours spent in the bush, direct observations, camera trapping, telemetry, game counts…

My research focuses on large carnivores’ behavioural and spatial ecology (habitat selection, movement) and the mechanisms of their coexistence. I have a particular interest in how they affect each other either directly or via their prey, and therefore predator-prey relationships are also part of the core of my research.

Whenever I am not working in the field or in front of R/QGIS, I just enjoy spending time in the bush and practicing wildlife, landscape and night sky photography.



Gavin Rishworth, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Exploring the links between past and present ecosystems, thereby highlighting why modern environments operate under the constraints to which they are currently exposed, is my broad research interest. I’m a Research Fellow at the Nelson Mandela University and am trained as a marine biologist. My zoological postgraduate research included work on coastal fish (BSc Hons) and seabird ecology (MSc), and during my PhD I studied the community interactions between all ecosystem components of modern microbialite habitats forming along the South African coast. What is interesting about these systems is that they are partial analogues for Earth’s earliest ecosystems – calcifying microbial mats. These structures are rare in most modern environments, but have recently been discovered in South Africa.

Now, as a Research Fellow at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, I am investigating the direct link between modern microbialite environments and comparable extinct microbialites, in terms of functional drivers of abundance. This palaeoecological link is the key to understanding how modern microbialite biodiversity might predictably respond during times of environmental change. I have travelled widely to present and collaborate on my research, including to Peru, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

I am enthusiastic and honoured to be an Associate Editor for the Journal of Zoology and especially look forward to seeing manuscripts submitted that cross the boundaries of applied zoology, which is also relevant to our understanding of how species evolved or came to be associated with their occupied niches. If you’re interesting in seeing more of what I get up to, you can follow me on Twitter at @DrGavRish.


Emiliano MoriEmiliano Mori, University of Siena, Italy

I graduated in 2009 in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Pisa (Italy). My master thesis was on the genetic structure and phylogeography of the black francolin Francolinus francolinus (Aves: Galliformes) with full marks and academic honours. During my thesis internship, I developed an interest in conservation biology, with a special regard to the issue of alien species introductions and impact.

Therefore, I attended a Second-Level Master post-lauream in Animal Biodiversity Conservation in Rome and I prepared a thesis on the alien species released in a private wetland in central Italy. In 2010, I won a Ph.D. position at the University of Siena on the behavioural ecology of an introduced species in Italy, the crested porcupine Hystrix cristata, and, in 2014, I published my first paper on this topic on Journal of Zoology!

Between 2013 and 2016, I moved to the University of Turin, where I was a post-doc student working on spatial behaviour, management and distribution of rodents and shrews. I also took part in the removal project of alien grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis and the monitoring of native population of the European red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris.

Currently, I have a postdoc grant at the University of Siena (Department of Life Sciences) and my main interests are related to alien species impacts (mostly parakeets, as well as rodents and other small to medium-sized mammals) and spatiotemporal behaviour of small and medium sized mammals, including rodents, shrews, small carnivores and lagomorphs.

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