Dr Ninon Meyer

Dr Ninon Meyer

Conjoint Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

I'm a wildlife ecologist with a research background in landscape connectivity, and applied conservation science. In particular, my solution-oriented research focuses on investigating the ecological interactions between terrestrial mammals and their environment, and the mechanisms that drive their movement and resource use. This information is critical in helping us understand how best to improve global biodiversity conservation and restoration strategies, and provide policy guidance.

After a double degree at Wageningen University, NL (MSc Forest & Nature Conservation) and Lasalle Beauvais, France (Agricultural engineering), I did my PhD on the behavioural movement patterns of large mammals in tropical fragmented landscapes and the implications for designing biological corridors. I used large-scale camera trapping data in Panama and movement data of white-lipped peccaries, puma and ocelot to derive landscape resistance and create a set of connectivity scenarios across the Panamanian portion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. After completing my PhD in December 2018, I stayed for another six months in Panama to set up two wildlife conservation projects as part of the Baird's tapir Survival Alliance. The first was to understand the hunting impact on tapir populations throughout Central America. The second project was to establish a monitoring and vigilance program with indigenous people in the Darién National Park, which is a stronghold for tapirs, jaguars and macaws in the region.

My first post-doctoral was based at the University of Goettingen in Germany, and brought me to work with Prof. Matt Hayward and the Conservation Science Research Group at the University of Newcastle, Australia, to study the movement and connectivity of squirrel gliders in the suburban area of Newcastle. Currently, I am conducting my second post-doctoral position funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship, at the University of Freiburg in Southwestern Germany. I am examining the effects of retention forestry on the large mammal community in the Black Forest. While based in Freiburg, I continue to be involved in research and conservation projects in Central America and Australia through several positions (i.e., country coordinator for the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group in Panama, and program director of the Baird's Tapir Survival Alliance in Panama www.bairdstapir.org ). As for Australia, I am Partner Investigator on the ARC Linkage Project assessing the post-fire survival of threatened macropods in Eastern Australia - led by Matt Hayward at UON. Accordingly, I was appointed Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle in 2020. These positions enable me to collaborate with fellow conservationists/researchers on several continents.


Qualifications

  • Phd in Ecology and Sustainable Development, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur- Mexica

Keywords

  • Animal spatial ecology
  • Camera trapping
  • Conservation biology
  • GPS-telemetry
  • Landscape connectivity
  • Large terrestrial mammals
  • Movement ecology
  • Neotropical forests

Languages

  • French (Mother)
  • Spanish (Fluent)
  • English (Fluent)

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/1/2021 - 31/12/2022 Marie Curie-Sklodowska Fellow The University of Freiburg
Wildlife Ecology and Management
Germany
15/6/2019 - 15/12/2020 PRIME DAAD Fellow University of Göttingen, Germany and University of Newcastle, Australia
Wildlife Sciences, Faculty of Forest Sciences (Goettingen) and School of Environmental and Life Sciences (UON)
Germany

Awards

Award

Year Award
2019 Society for Conservation Biology Travel Award
Society for Conservation Biology
2017 Prestigious Travel Award
International Federation of Mammalogists
2015 Society for Conservation Biology Travel Award
Society for Conservation Biology

Recipient

Year Award
2021 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
European Commission, European Union
2019 Postdoctoral Researchers International Mobility Experience
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Scholarship

Year Award
2017 Short-term Research Grant
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
2015 Postgraduate Scholarship
National Council of Science and Technology
2013 Predoctoral Fellowship
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Meyer NFV, Moreno R, Martínez-Morales MA, Reyna-Hurtado R, 'Spatial ecology of a large and endangered tropical mammal: The white-lipped peccary in Darién, Panama', Movement Ecology of Neotropical Forest Mammals: Focus on Social Animals 77-93 (2019)

Large mammals are negatively affected by habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting. Thus, many of them are nowadays in urgent need of conservation actions to decrease their risk of... [more]

Large mammals are negatively affected by habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting. Thus, many of them are nowadays in urgent need of conservation actions to decrease their risk of extinction. Examining space use of large mammals by integrating empirical data and modeling is a primary prerequisite both for basic ecological understanding and for effective conservation planning. In this study, we investigated the basic spatial ecology of the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), a keystone ungulate species in the Neotropics. Specifically, we examined the home range and habitat use of the species in the Darién, Panama, which constitutes one of the last remaining strongholds for the species in Mesoamerica. In May and July 2016, we fitted GPS collars on two white-lipped peccaries from different herds and monitored them during 15 months and 1 month. The two herds used an area covered by mature forest and did not venture into disturbed areas during the time we monitored them. Both herds displayed home ranging behavior, and their estimated home range sizes were 58 km2 and 25 km2. The herd that was followed during 15 months showed little difference between seasonal home ranges, suggesting that the forest of Darién provided enough resources throughout the year for the herd to remain in the same area. Based on this study and other research in Panama, we consider that the white-lipped peccary population in Darién is healthy contrasting with many other sites in the country. Management actions need to address both the hunting pressure and the protection of large continuous tracts of undisturbed forests to guarantee the persistence of the species in Panama.

DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-03463-4_6
Citations Scopus - 5

Journal article (16 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Meyer NF, King J-P, Mahony M, Clulow J, Beranek C, Reedman C, et al., 'Large area used by squirrel gliders in an urban area, uncovered using GPS telemetry', ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 11 7147-7153 (2021)
DOI 10.1002/ece3.7644
Co-authors John Clulow, Chad Beranek, Matthew Hayward
2020 Meyer NFV, Balkenhol N, Dutta T, Hofman M, Meyer J-Y, Ritchie EG, et al., 'Beyond species counts for assessing, valuing, and conserving biodiversity: response to Wallach et al. 2019', CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, 35 369-372 (2020)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.13665
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Simon Clulow, Andrea Griffin, Kaya Klop-Toker, Alex Callen, Matthew Hayward, Chad Beranek, Rose Upton Uon
2020 Thornton D, Reyna R, Perera-Romero L, Radachowsky J, Hidalgo-Mihart MG, Garcia R, et al., 'Precipitous decline of white-lipped peccary populations in Mesoamerica', BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 242 (2020)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108410
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
2020 Schank CJ, Cove M, Arima EY, Brandt LSE, Brenes-Mora E, Carver A, et al., 'Population status, connectivity, and conservation action for the endangered Baird's tapir', BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 245 (2020)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108501
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
2020 Meyer NFV, Moreno R, Reyna-Hurtado R, Signer J, Balkenhol N, 'Towards the restoration of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for large mammals in Panama: comparing multi-species occupancy to movement models', MOVEMENT ECOLOGY, 8 (2020)
DOI 10.1186/s40462-019-0186-0
Citations Scopus - 7Web of Science - 6
2020 Callen A, Hayward MW, Klop-Toker K, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, et al., 'Envisioning the future with compassionate conservation : An ominous projection for native wildlife and biodiversity', Biological Conservation, 241 (2020) [C1]

The ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ movement is gaining momentum through its promotion of ¿ethical¿ conservation practices based on self-proclaimed principles of ¿first-do-no-harm¿ a... [more]

The ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ movement is gaining momentum through its promotion of ¿ethical¿ conservation practices based on self-proclaimed principles of ¿first-do-no-harm¿ and ¿individuals matter¿. We argue that the tenets of ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ are ideological - that is, they are not scientifically proven to improve conservation outcomes, yet are critical of the current methods that do. In this paper we envision a future with ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ and predict how this might affect global biodiversity conservation. Taken literally, ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ will deny current conservation practices such as captive breeding, introduced species control, biocontrol, conservation fencing, translocation, contraception, disease control and genetic introgression. Five mainstream conservation practices are used to illustrate the far-reaching and dire consequences for global biodiversity if governed by ¿Compassionate Conservation¿. We acknowledge the important role of animal welfare science in conservation practices but argue that ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ aligns more closely with animal liberation principles protecting individuals over populations. Ultimately we fear that a world of ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ could stymie the global conservation efforts required to meet international biodiversity targets derived from evidenced based practice, such as the Aichi targets developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity and adopted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the United Nations.

DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108365
Citations Scopus - 16Web of Science - 16
Co-authors Kaya Klop-Toker, Ryan Witt, Alex Callen, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Matthew Hayward, Chad Beranek, Rose Upton Uon
2019 Hody AW, Moreno R, Meyer NFV, Pacifici K, Kays R, 'Canid collision-expanding populations of coyotes (Canis latrans) and crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) meet up in Panama', JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY, 100 1819-1830 (2019)
DOI 10.1093/jmammal/gyz158
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5
2019 Schank CJ, Cove M, Kelly MJ, Nielsen CK, O'Farrill G, Meyer N, et al., 'A Sensitivity Analysis of the Application of Integrated Species Distribution Models to Mobile Species: A Case Study with the Endangered Baird's Tapir', ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, 46 184-192 (2019)
DOI 10.1017/S0376892919000055
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 3
2019 Meyer NF, Moreno R, Sutherland C, Antonio de la Torre J, Esser HJ, Jordan CA, et al., 'Effectiveness of Panama as an intercontinental land bridge for large mammals', CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, 34 207-219 (2019)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.13384
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6
2019 Reyna-Hurtado R, Sima-Pantí D, Andrade M, Padilla A, Retana-Guaiscon O, Sanchez-Pinzón K, et al., 'Tapir population patterns under the disappearance of freestanding water', Therya, 10 353-358 (2019)

Baird¿s tapir is the largest Neotropical tapir species, and it is considered Endangered by the IUCN. The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR) is the largest protected tropical forest ... [more]

Baird¿s tapir is the largest Neotropical tapir species, and it is considered Endangered by the IUCN. The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR) is the largest protected tropical forest in Mexico. The CBR is at the heart of the Maya Forest, a tri-national forest located in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize that is the largest tropical forest outside the Amazon River basin. Free-standing water in the CBR occurs in only a few ephemeral ponds. These ponds are rare in the landscape, with a mean density of one pond in every 10 km2, and with an average distance among ponds of 3 km. Only some of these ponds have free-standing water in every year. A decreasing trend in water availability from these ponds was detected from 2008 to 2018. Our present objective was to document population of the tapirs during these 11 years, and reveal any relationship to the pattern of water availability. Using the technique of photo-trapping, we monitored from 9 to 15 ponds over a period of 8 years (a total of more than 18,000 camera-days) during the 11-year period. Results showed that although the population remained relatively stable, the index of relative abundance indicated a slight decrease in population abundance and in some sites seemed at least superficially associated with decreasing water availability. Such long-term population studies are becoming more important for estimating the impacts of possible changes and for predicting the future of populations. In turn, they assist the conservation of endangered and sensitive species such as Baird¿s tapir.

DOI 10.12933/therya-19-902
Citations Scopus - 2
2019 Sánchez-Pinzón K, Reyna-Hurtado R, Meyer NFV, 'Moon light and the activity patterns of baird s tapir in the Calakmul region, Southern Mexico', Therya, 11 (2019)

The Baird¿s tapir (Tapirella bairdii) is an endangered species throughout its distribution area, however many aspects of its biology and ecology have been poorly studied, due to i... [more]

The Baird¿s tapir (Tapirella bairdii) is an endangered species throughout its distribution area, however many aspects of its biology and ecology have been poorly studied, due to its evasive behavior and low densities. The goal of this study was to evaluate the activity patterns of T. bairdii, a large ungulate species from the Neotropics, in relation to moon phases in two sites with different degree of human perturbation: the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR) and the Nuevo Becal (NB) community. We monitored twenty waterbodies in each site for 18 months using camera traps. The photographic capture rate (CR) and the corresponding moon phases for both sites were recorded. The CR of T. bairdii was 0.054 in NB and 0.029 in CBR. T. bairdii was more active at night and dawn-twilight periods. In general, T. bairdii showed major activity during the dark moon phases but the differences with the light phases were not statistically significant. However, we found a trend of tapirs to be more active in dark nights and in the darkest hours in NB than CBR. The apparent preferences for dark nights in NB could be caused by the perturbation caused by human activities at site, which may have influenced the behavior of the tapir that avoid moving out in periods of abundant light in disturbed sites. More research is needed to confirm this finding.

DOI 10.12933/therya-20-654
Citations Scopus - 3
2019 Hayward MW, Callen A, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, Bugir C, et al., 'Deconstructing compassionate conservation', Conservation Biology, 33 760-768 (2019) [C1]

Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Rece... [more]

Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Recently, compassionate conservation has been promoted as an alternative to conventional conservation philosophy. We believe examples presented by compassionate conservationists are deliberately or arbitrarily chosen to focus on mammals; inherently not compassionate; and offer ineffective conservation solutions. Compassionate conservation arbitrarily focuses on charismatic species, notably large predators and megaherbivores. The philosophy is not compassionate when it leaves invasive predators in the environment to cause harm to vastly more individuals of native species or uses the fear of harm by apex predators to terrorize mesopredators. Hindering the control of exotic species (megafauna, predators) in situ will not improve the conservation condition of the majority of biodiversity. The positions taken by so-called compassionate conservationists on particular species and on conservation actions could be extended to hinder other forms of conservation, including translocations, conservation fencing, and fertility control. Animal welfare is incredibly important to conservation, but ironically compassionate conservation does not offer the best welfare outcomes to animals and is often ineffective in achieving conservation goals. Consequently, compassionate conservation may threaten public and governmental support for conservation because of the limited understanding of conservation problems by the general public.

DOI 10.1111/cobi.13366
Citations Scopus - 30Web of Science - 31
Co-authors Ryan Witt, Alex Callen, Kaya Klop-Toker, Andrea Griffin, John Clulow, Rose Upton Uon, Matthew Hayward, Simon Clulow
2018 Fort JL, Nielsen CK, Carver AD, Moreno R, Meyer NFV, 'Factors influencing local attitudes and perceptions regarding jaguars &ITPanthera onca&IT and National Park conservation in Panama', ORYX, 52 282-291 (2018)
DOI 10.1017/S0030605317001016
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 11
2017 Schank CJ, Cove MV, Kelly MJ, Mendoza E, O'Farrill G, Reyna-Hurtado R, et al., 'Using a novel model approach to assess the distribution and conservation status of the endangered Baird's tapir', DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTIONS, 23 1459-1471 (2017)
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12631
Citations Scopus - 26Web of Science - 18
2016 Meyer NFV, Moreno R, Sanches E, Ortega J, Brown E, Jansen PA, 'Do protected areas in Panama support intact assemblages of ungulates?', Therya, 7 65-76 (2016)

Ungulates play an essential role in terrestrial ecosystems, but suffer from hunting and habitat degradation which often results in their decline. Panama harbors five species of un... [more]

Ungulates play an essential role in terrestrial ecosystems, but suffer from hunting and habitat degradation which often results in their decline. Panama harbors five species of ungulate and is an important portion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, but its forest habitat and its fauna are currently threatened. Protected areas have been designated to preserve the biodiversity, but studies evaluating their effectiveness in maintaining ungulates are lacking in Panama. In this study we used camera-trapping surveys to determine the occurrence and abundance of the ungulate species in 13 protected areas across Panama. There were large differences in the ungulate communities among the sites we surveyed. Some sites were impoverished with just one ungulate species recorded while just a single site harbored all five species. The white-lipped peccary was the rarest species and the collared peccaries the most common, captured in all the sites. Moreover, we found large variation in ungulate abundance across the sites. Our results indicate that few protected areas in Panama effectively maintain the entire assemblage of ungulate species.

DOI 10.12933/therya-16-341
Citations Scopus - 7
2015 Meyer NFV, Esser HJ, Moreno R, van Langevelde F, Liefting Y, Oller DR, et al., 'An assessment of the terrestrial mammal communities in forests of Central Panama, using camera-trap surveys', JOURNAL FOR NATURE CONSERVATION, 26 28-35 (2015)
DOI 10.1016/j.jnc.2015.04.003
Citations Scopus - 29Web of Science - 24
Show 13 more journal articles

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 'Tapirus bairdii: Garcìa, M., Jordan, C., O'Farril, G., Poot, C., Meyer, N., Estrada, N., Leonardo, R., Naranjo, E., Simons, Á., Herrera, A., Urgilés, C., Schank, C., Boshoff, L. & Ruiz-Galeano, M.', (2014) [O1]
DOI 10.2305/iucn.uk.2016-1.rlts.t21471a45173340.en
Edit

Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 7
Total funding $272,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20201 grants / $7,000

Restoring connectivity for the threatened squirrel glider in an increasingly fragmented and urbanised core of NSW.$7,000

Funding body: Royal Zoological Society of NSW

Funding body Royal Zoological Society of NSW
Project Team Doctor Ninon Meyer, Professor Matthew Hayward, Associate Professor John Clulow
Scheme Paddy Pallin Science Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2022
GNo G1901205
Type Of Funding C3200 – Aust Not-for Profit
Category 3200
UON Y

20181 grants / $52,000

Addressing the Threat of Baird’s Tapir Poaching in Central America$52,000

Funding body: National Geographic Society

Funding body National Geographic Society
Project Team

Ninon Meyer, Esteban Brenes, Armando Dans, Nereyda Estrada, Manolo Garcia & Christopher Jordan

Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20172 grants / $124,000

Baird's tapir Survival Initiative$115,000

Funding body: US Fish & Wildlife Services

Funding body US Fish & Wildlife Services
Project Team

Ninon Meyer, Manolo Garcia, Nereyda Estrada, Armando Dans, Esteban Brenes-Mora & Christopher Jordan

Scheme Wildlife Without Borders - LAC Central America 2017
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2019
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

Movement and Conservation of Large Endangered Ungulates in the Darién: The Tapir and the White-Lipped Peccary$9,000

Funding body: The Rufford Foundation

Funding body The Rufford Foundation
Scheme The Rufford Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2018
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

20153 grants / $89,000

Using large mammals as umbrella species to improve landscape connectivity in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor$75,000

Funding body: Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovacíon

Funding body Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovacíon
Project Team

Ninon Meyer, Ricardo Moreno, Rafael Reyna-Hurtado

Scheme F I+D
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

Participatory Monitoring of the Baird’s Tapir in the Darién, Panama$9,000

Funding body: The Rufford Foundation

Funding body The Rufford Foundation
Scheme The Rufford Small Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N

Movement and Conservation of the Baird's tapir in the Darién National Park, Panama$5,000

Funding body: GEMAS/Fondo Darién

Funding body GEMAS/Fondo Darién
Scheme Student Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE
UON N
Edit

Dr Ninon Meyer

Position

Conjoint Lecturer
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

Email ninon.meyer@newcastle.edu.au
Edit