Laura Ashleigh Thomas-Walters | Conservation
Laura's research blog
Biodiversity, Evolution & Conservation
A PhD is an opportunity to contribute to a body of research that I am passionate about, and push the boundaries of human knowledge into new areas. I wanted to produce and publish high impact research that will provide much needed knowledge on the front line of conservation, and a PhD will help me develop into a more accomplished academic.
The illegal international wildlife trade has been valued at $7-23bn per year by Interpol and demand for many high value species is escalating. Reducing demand for illegal wildlife products amongst key consumers is crucial to biodiversity conservation, but currently many charities and organisations do not make full use of published research by psychologists and economists in attempts to change human behaviour. I aim to investigate how the use of behavioural research can be better utilised by for illegal wildlife trade demand reduction strategies.
I cannot begin to adequately express my gratitude to all the donors who have given to the Scholarship Fund. Their generosity is truly moving, and I fully intend to make them proud! It was a big surprise and massive honour, and I would not have been able to start my PhD this year without it.