Neil Jordan
Dr Neil Jordan
Field of Research: 
Conservation, carnivores, communication, human-wildlife conflict
Contact details:
+61 2 6881 1452

My research philosophy lies in applying behavioural ecology to conservation management. My work has focused on scent communication in wild mammals, and recently in its application to managing carnivore movements. I am interested in the ecology and behavior of predators in human- or livestock-dominated areas, and in applying this knowledge to develop and evaluate tools to reduce human-wildlife conflict. While not limited to predators, my research interests are predator-heavy, which reflects both their importance as ‘problem’ animals (native and invasive), and the key role that they play in trophic cascades.

Future research

Over the next few years, a major focus of my work will be developing a conservation research programme within Australian ecosystems. I am particularly interested in conducting and supervising work that can be applied to the development, or directly tests the efficacy, of potential human-wildlife conflict mitigation tools. As a research fellow at Taronga Conservation Society, I am also interested in conducting research beneficial to their captive collection and conservation research strategy.

Current areas of interest include:

  • Animal communication and conservation;
  • “Problem animal” ecology and management;
  • Human-wildlife conflict and solutions;
  • Invasive carnivore ecology and management;
  • Conservation endocrinology (including remote detection of wildlife health and welfare).



Ecological predictors of African wild dog ranging patterns in northern Botswana. Journal of Mammalogy, 2015, doi: 10.1093/jmammal/gyv130

Lessons from integrating behaviour and resource selection: activity‐specific responses of African wild dogs to roads. Animal Conservation. 2015

Top marks for top dogs: Tandem marking and pair-bond advertisement in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Animal Behaviour 88, 211-217, 2014.

The “tomcat compound” 3-mercapto-3-methylbutanol occurs in the urine of free-ranging leopards but not in African lions or cheetahs. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 53, 17-19, 2014.

Scent-mark identification and scent-marking behaviour in African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). Ethology 119, 1-9, 2013.

 Fine-scale spatiotemporal patterns of genetic variation reflect budding dispersal coupled with strong natal philopatry in a cooperatively breeding mammal Molecular Ecology 21, 5348-5362, 2012.

Molecular comparison of historical and contemporary pine marten (Martes martes) populations in the British Isles: evidence of differing origins and fates. Conservation Genetics 13, 1195- 1212, 2012.

Evaluating translocations of martens, sables and fishers: Testing model predictions with field data. In: Biology and conservation of martens, sables and fishers: a new synthesis. Ed. KB Aubry, WJ Zielinski, MG Raphael, G Proulx, SW Buskirk. Cornell University Press. Chapter 6, pp. 93-137, 2012.

Strategy for restoring the pine marten to England and Wales. Report published by The Vincent Wildlife Trust, 2011.

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 1. Sex specific scents and over-marking. Animal Behaviour 81, 31-42, 2011.

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 2. Intrasexual over-marking and competition between males. Animal Behaviour 81, 43-50, 2011.

Scent marking in wild banded mongooses: 3. Intrasexual over-marking in females. Animal Behaviour 81, 51-60, 2011.

Scent marking within and between groups of wild banded mongooses. Journal of Zoology 280, 72-83, 2010.

Radiocollars do not affect the survival or foraging behaviour of wild meerkats. Journal of Zoology 274, 248-253, 2008.

Scent marking investment is determined by sex and breeding status in meerkats. Animal Behaviour 74, 531-540, 2007.

Latrine distribution and patterns of use by wild meerkats: implications for territory and mate defence. Animal Behaviour 73, 613-622, 2007.

Intrasexual competition and sexual selection in cooperative mammals. Nature 444, 1065-1068, 2006.

Helpers increase the reproductive potential of offspring in cooperative meerkats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 274, 513-520, 2006.

Elevated prolactin levels immediately precede decisions to babysit by male meerkat helpers. Hormones and Behaviour 50, 94-100, 2006.

Cortisol levels are positively associated with pup-feeding rates in male meerkats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 273, 571-577, 2006.

'False-feeding' and aggression in meerkat societies. Animal Behaviour 69, 1273-1284, 2005.

Adaptive size modification by dominant female meerkats. Evolution 58, 1600-1607, 2004.

Welfare implications of captive primate population management: behavioural and psycho-social effects of female-based contraception, oestrous and male removal in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 90, 155-165, 2004.