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Dr Emma Stone

Evaluating and developing strategies to mitigate human-bat and human-carnvore conflict

Research Interests

My research is focused on understanding the dynamic interrelations between ecosystems, society and poverty. I use a novel interdisciplinary approach to Global Environmental Change (GEC) research, combining social-ecological-geographical methods to predict and understand the impacts of urbanisation and agricultural expansion on biodiversity. Using bats as models I am assessing the impact of agricultural land use change (across gradients of intensity) on biodiversity in Malawi. I have recently completed a Leverhulme Trust funded research project assessing ecosystem service provision of bats in agro-forestry plantations and smallholder farms in Malawi as Co-I with Professor Gareth Jones, University of Bristol.

I am currently conducting ongoing long term research in Lilongwe city (Malawi) to assess the socio-cultural-economic drivers of human-wildlife-conflict (HWC), spatial and behavioural ecology of urban bats and carnivores, and impacts of urbanisation on biodiversity and human health. I am using bats and spotted hyaena’s (Crocuta crocuta) as models to assess the impacts of urbanisation on biodiversity and the risks to human health from wildlife trade, consumption, and cultural use as a function of increasing urbanisation. I am conducting long-term ongoing research to understand the welfare and conservation implications of animal reintroductions and translocations using primates and carnivores as models. I coordinate a long-term primate reintroduction programme of rehabilitated yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) and vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) into Kasungu National Park, and am preparing two publications from a five year data set to assess welfare success of these reintroductions. With funding from Panthera, I am assessing the welfare and spatial behaviour of reintroduced serval (Letpailurus serval) into Kasungu national Park, Malawi, using satellite tracking to be completed in 2019. 


IUCN Bat Specialist Committee Member

IUCN Hyaena specialist Committee Member                                                                                            

Member Southern Rangewide Strategy Committee for Cheetah and African wild dog                     

Malawi REDD+ Steering Committee  Member                                                                                            

Malawi National Biodiversity Strategy Committee Member                                                                   

Current post

I am currently Lecturer in Conservation Science at the Institue of Conservation Science, Bristol Zoological Society and Founder/Director of Conservation Research Africa (CRA) ( a research charity based in Malawi where I manage a successful multidisciplinary research programme assessing the impacts of global environmental change (GEC) on wildlife and society. 

I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Cardiff University. I built and manage a Conservation Research Centre in Lilongwe City, and two field research centres in Malawi, through which I conduct a variaetiy of applied research in the two flagship programmes and

Previous posts

Co-Investgator on Leverhulme Funded Research project to assess the ecosystem services provided by bats in Plantations in Malawi.

Co-Investigator on a  NERC Responsive Mode grant using experimental approaches to determine the impacts of light pollution on bats and insects (

Co-Investigator on a Leverhulme Funded Grant to assess the ecosystem services of bats and build capacity for bat and biodiversity monitoring in Malawi (

Co-Investigator on a DEFRA funded project to develop and test strategies to mitigate the impact of Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri) in churches ( and investigating the impact of roost exclusions on the conservation biology of Soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus).

Research keywords

  • Global Environmental Change
  • Conservation biology
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Landscape ecology
  • Anthropogenic disturbance

Research methods

  • Field experimental research
  • Radio tracking
  • Acoustic surveys
  • Camera trapping
  • Sign surveys
  • Transects
  • Multilevel Modelling
  • GIS
  • Spatial Analysis.

Research equipment

  • SM2Bat+ (Wildlife Acoustics)
  • AnaBat
  • Harptraps
  • Satellite Collars
  • 6 research vehicles
  • 2 field lab facilities
  • Mist Nets
  • Endoscope
  • Light Meter
  • Experimental Lighting Equipment

Research findings

I have co-written and secured three post-doctoral research grants, including a NERC Responsive Mode Grant, DEFRA Research Call and a Leverhulme Trust Project Grant, and a number of charitable grants totalling in excess of £1.6 million. I have published high impact papers in cross cutting global themes in journals including PNAS (Durant, Stone, et al. 2016, IF 9.8, 13 citations), Current Biology (Stone et al. 2009, IF 8.9, >256 citations), Global Change Biology (Stone et al. 2012, IF 8.4, 102 citations) and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Stone et al. 2015, IF 7, 16 citations).


  • The Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases
  • University of North Carolina (disease biology)
  • Cardiff University (human bat conflict and parasites (Prof Cable/Prof Bruford)
  • Southampton University (landscape genetics of bats
  • Dr Razgour)
  • Porto University (bat taxonomy
  • Dr Rebelo)
  • University of Lisboa (ecosystem services of bats
  • Dr Palmeirim)
  • University of Cape Town (bioacoustics of bats
  • Prof Jacobs)
  • Nottingham Trent University (human wildlife conflict of bats and carnivores
  • Prof Yarnell); Department of National Parks and Wildlife (Malawi)
  • Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.