Eleanor Sheppard

Eleanor Sheppard


In 2017 I graduated with a first class degree in Biology from Cardiff University where I developed a strong interest in evolution and the application of genetic and genomic approaches to wildlife ecology and conservation.

As part of my degree I completed a Professional Training Year at the Primate and Predator Project in South Africa. In my role as Predator Research Assistant I contributed to long term data evaluating the nature and extent of human-wildlife conflict within the Soutpansberg Mountains, primarily focusing on leopards. I conducted scat analyses and collected camera trap data to understand diet, food acquisition, and interrelationships between predators.

For my dissertation I worked on a collaborative project between Cardiff University and Durrell Wildlife and Conservation Trust using molecular tools to determine the genetic consequences of species translocations and cryptic population re-establishment among island populations of Bojer’s skinks Gonglyomorphus bojerii.

My recent research works include the spatial genetic structure of African rodent sub-populations affected by landscape heterogeneity in Kruger National Park.

Eleanor Sheppard

Ecology and Biodiversity

University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences

PhD title: Evolution in action: using museum DNA to understand disease resistance in island birds

This project aims to understand how hosts adapt to pathogens in small and fragmented populations.

Using museum specimens (1820s) and contemporary samples, I will be investigating spatial-temporal variation in the genome across five divergent populations of Berthelot’s pipit, Anthus berthelotii.

Differences in historical pathogen regime exist between these populations and provide a gradient against which to understand immunogenetic divergence.


    du Plessis, S.J.*, Howard-McCombe, J.*, Melvin, Z.E.*, Sheppard, E.C.*, Russo, I.R.M., Mootoocurpen, R., Goetz, M., Young, R.P., Cole, N.C. and Bruford, M.W. 2018. Genetic diversity and cryptic population re-establishment: Management implications for the Bojer’s skink (Gongylomorphus bojerii). Conservation Genetics 20(2), pp. 137-152. (*denotes co-first authors).

    Williams, K.S., Williams, S.T., Fitzgerald, L.E., Sheppard, E.C. and Hill, R.A. 2018. Brown hyaena and leopard diets on private land in the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology 56(4), pp. 1021-1027.

Centenary Prize (2015) awarded by Cardiff University School of Biosciences