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Tim Hofmeester

Tim Hofmeester
Wildlife ecologist interested in the coexistence of wildlife communities and people. Citizen Scientist and Camera trapper. Interested in AI, tech4wildlife and the social and cultural relevance of wildlife.

Presentation

I am a wildlife ecologist interested in human-wildlife coexistence. I study both the influence of people on wildlife, and the influence that wildlife has on people. Within this framework, I work on including non-professionals into monitoring of wildlife. I am also interested in using technology to bring people in contact with nature.

Currently, I have three (sometimes intertwining) lines of research in which I run several projects:

1) The use of technology and citizen science to study wildlife communities. Within this research line, I involve both professionals and non-professionals in the monitoring of wildlife communities, and use these data to answer community ecological questions. At the moment, most of these projects involve the use of camera traps, cameras with a passive-infrared sensor that take pictures when they detect a moving difference in temperature (mostly a warm-blooded animal). By involving non-professionals, I hope to bring people in contact with nature and give them a unique experience, shaping their perceptions towards nature and science. I collaborate with social scientists to study these potential effects.

2) Wildlife communities and One health. I study the relationship between the occurrence of different wildlife species and the presence and density of parasites and pathogens. So far, my main focus has been on ticks and tick-borne diseases, studying the relationship between the availability of different host species and the prevalence of tick-borne pathogens. I collaborate with public health officials, to bring this new ecological knowledge to policy makers, with the aim of making prevention methods more effective.

3) Small carnivore ecology. Since I was a student, I have worked on the ecology of small carnivores, particularly Mustelids (members of the Mustelidae family). I work on several species, from the smallest carnivore in Europe (the least weasel) to the much larger, but still small pine marten. With this work, I hope to increase our knowledge of the ecology of these species, enabling better management and conservation strategies. I do part of this research through my association with the Small Mustelid Foundation of which I am the chairman.

I gave a TED talk on the link between (small) carnivores and diseases at TEDx Ede in 2016, which can be viewed here:

The carnivore effect - from fairy tales to reality

I co-manage the Megafauna & Sustainability research unit together with it's leader Dr. Joris Cromsigt and am an associate editor for the journal Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.

I am also part of the team behind SLUs Urban Futures platform, where I work as a hub coordinator for the Umeå campus. The aim of the platforms is to foster transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary ways of working as well as future-oriented teaching and research in the urban realm. My task as hub coordinator is to connect the SLU-wide platform to local researchers and stakeholders in Umeå.

Teaching

I am the study director for doctoral education at the department.

Furthermore, I am involved as a lecturer in several BSc and MSc level courses:

BI0872: Wildlife Biology; BI1302: Fish and Wildlife Census Techniques; BI1301: Applied Population Ecology; BI1372: De vilda djurens ekologi i en föränderlig värld; SG0253: Forest animals

Research

I work in several projects (linking to the research lines described above), which are presented in random order.

Scandcam is a collaboration between SLU and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) that studies how we can monitor wildlife communities using camera traps. The project is now in it´s second phase. The main goal of the first phase (2017-2020) was to study factors affecting detection by cameras of different wildlife species, testing if we could use data from a volunteer-run camera-trap network that is deployed to study lynx family groups to study whole communities. The second phase (2021-2023) focusses on the analysis of long-term trends using camera trapping data from Norway (2014-present) as well as the integration of multiple data sources to increase spatial coverage of camera trap-based monitoring of wildlife populations. Scandcam is financed by the Swedish EPA (sv: Naturvårdsverket) through the wildlife management fund (sv: viltvårdsfonden).

Swedish polecat project is a project developing methodology to monitor polecats. The European polecat is a species that is endemic to Europe and linked to extensively-used agricultural landscapes. The alarm bells are ringing for this species in many countries, but we lack good monitoring data to support the suggested negative population trends. We hope to provide a good tool to enable future monitoring of polecats in Sweden and abroad. The Swedish polecat project is funded by the Swedish EPA (2019-2021).

NorDark (Unconventional methods to inform sustainable design: Mediating the needs of people and nature in Nordic after-dark environments) is a multidisciplinary project looking at artificial light in urban environments and its effects on people and wildlife. It is a large collaboration of designers, psychologists, neurologists, data scientists and ecologists from KTH, Stockholm University, Aalto University, Lund University, NTNU and SLU. Within the SLU work package, we study the effects of different lighting designs on wildlife using camera traps and passive acoustic sensors. NorDark is financed by NordForsk (2021-2024).

Beyond Moose is a large research project studying the interactions between different ungulate species in multi-species communities, with a specific focus on the role of different ungulate species in causing damage to forestry and agriculture. I am mainly involved in using camera traps to study these interactions. Beyond Moose is mainly financed by the Swedish EPA throught the wildlife management fund (2015-2021).

ARCS - Arenas for co-operation through citizen science is a collaboration between Göteborg University, Umeå University, SLU and Vetenskap & Allmänhet (Science and Public). We are building a platform supporting citizen science in Sweden. I am coordinating the workpackage on standardization and quality of data in citizen science. ARCS is financed by Vinnova (2017-2021).

Past projects:

Meet your wild neighbours was a pilot project funded through SLU Urban Futures (2019-2020) where we used a combination of citizen science and camera traps to study wildlife over an urban to wild gradient. Within this project, I collaborated with dr Roland Kays at the North Carolina Museum for Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University, Umeå municipality, Naturskolan and Svenska Jägareförbundet Västerbotten.

Forrest fragmentation effects on ticks was a study financed through SLU Future Animals, nature and health (now Future One health; 2018-2020) where we studied the effects of forest fragmentation on ticks and tick-borne pathogens through changes in wildlife communities. Most of this work was done by Nannet Fabri within her PhD research. This project was a collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health at SLU in Uppsala and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands.

Environmental analysis

I am leading the development of a national monitoring program in Sweden using camera traps to monitor a large range of wildlife species. We aim to do this with a combination of several reference areas run by SLU or local authorities (County Administrative Boards, sv: Länsstyrelserna), combined with camera trapping data that we collect from the public, such as hunters (in collaboration with the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management, sv: Svenska Jägareförbundet). 

Cooperation

I work together with researchers at several other departments within SLU, and at several other universities and research institutes, both nationally and internationally:

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA, Norway), Inland Norway University of applied sciences (INN), Research Institute Sweden (RISE), North Carolina State University (NCSU, USA), Göteborg University, Umeå University, Royal Institute of technology (KTH), Lund University, Stockholm University, Aalto University, Norwegian University of science and technology (NTNU), Mammal Research Institute in Białowieża (Poland)

Furthermore, I work together with local, regional, national and international stakeholders such as Umeå municipality, the county administrative board (Länsstyrelsen) of Västerbotten, Public and Science (Vetenskap och Allmänhet), Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (Svenska Jägareförbundet), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands, and the Small Mustelid Foundation.

Background

2017-2019 Post-doc with VFM, SLU, Umeå, Sweden

2012-2016 PhD in Disease ecology at Wageningen University, the Netherlands

2009 - 2011 MSc (with distinction) in Ecology at Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Supervision

Currently I (co-)supervise two PhD students Nannet Fabri & Allan Stokes. Next to that, I supervise several MSc students and interns every semester. 

If you are interested in doing an internship or MSc thesis topic with me, please feel free to contact me or check out the MegaSus website.

I also welcome those that are interested to do a PhD or post-doc in my research group. So please feel free to contact me if you want to explore the possibilities to find funding.

Selected publications

26. Pavel Bína, Fredrik Brounéus, Dick Kasparowski, Niclas Hagen, Martin Bergman, Gustav Bohlin, Mari Jönsson, Stephen Coulson & Tim Hofmeester (2021) Awareness, views and experiences of Citizen Science among Swedish researchers – two surveys. Journal of Science Communication 20: 1-6. doi: 10.22323/2.20060210

25. Tim R Hofmeester, Neri H Thorsen, John DC Linnell & John Odden (2021) Camera trap records of leucistic Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) in central Norway. Ecology and Evolution 11: 12902-12907. doi: 10.1002/ece3.8052

24. Tim R Hofmeester, Neri H Thorsen, Joris PGM Cromsigt, Jonas Kindberg, Henrik Andrén, John DC Linnell & John Odden (2021) Effects of camera-trap placement and number on detection of members of a mammalian assemblage. Ecosphere 12: e03662. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.3662

23. Nannet D Fabri, Hein Sprong, Tim R Hofmeester, Hans Heesterbeek, Björn F Donnars, Fredrik Widemo, Frauke Ecke & Joris PGM Cromsigt (2021) Wild ungulate species differ in their contribution to the transmission of Ixodes ricinus-borne pathogens. Parasites & Vectors 14: 360. doi: 0.1186/s13071-021-04860-w

22. Katsuhisa Takumi, Tim R Hofmeester, Hein Sprong (2021) Red and fallow deer determine the density of Ixodes ricinus nymphs containing Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Parasites & Vectors 14: 59. doi: 10.1186/s13071-020-04567-4

21. Anthony Caravaggi, A Cole Burton, Douglas A Clark, Jason T Fisher, Amelia Grass, Sian Green, Catherine Hobatier, Tim R Hofmeester, Ammie K Kalan, Daniella Rabaiotti & Danielle Rivet (2020) A review of factors to consider when using camera traps to study animal behaviour to inform wildlife ecology and conservation. Conservation Science and Practice 2: e239. doi: 10.1111/csp2.239

20. Jeroen Mos & Tim R Hofmeester (2020) The Mostela: an adjusted camera-trapping device as a promising non-invasive tool to study and monitor small mustelids. Mammal Research 65: 843-853. doi: 10.1007/s13364-020-00513-y

19. Michiel P Veldhuis, Tim R Hofmeester, Guy Balme, Dave J Druce, Ross T Pitman & Joris PGM Cromsigt (2020) Predation risk constrains herbivores’ adaptive capacity to warming. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1069-1074. doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-1218-2

18. Tim R Hofmeester, Sherry Young, Sonya Juthberg, Navinder J Singh, Fredrik Widemo, Henrik Andrén, John DC Linnell & Joris PGM Cromsigt (2020) Using by-catch data from wildlife surveys to quantify climatic parameters and the timing of phenology for plants and animals using camera traps. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 6: 129-140. doi: 10.1002/rse2.136

17. Hein Sprong, Sander Moonen, Sip E van Wieren & Tim R Hofmeester (2020) Effects of cattle grazing on Ixodes ricinus-borne disease risk in forest areas of the Netherlands. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 11: 101355. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2019.101355

16. Tim R Hofmeester, Esther J Bügel, Bob Hendrikx, Miriam Maas, Frits FJ Franssen, Hein Sprong & Kevin D Matson (2019) Parasite load and site-specific parasite pressure as determinants of immune indices in two sympatric rodent species. Animals 9: 1015. doi: 10.3390/ani9121015

15. Katsuhisa Takumi, Hein Sprong & Tim R Hofmeester (2019) Impact of vertebrate communities on Ixodes ricinus-borne disease risk in forest areas. Parasites & Vectors 12: 434. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3700-8

14. Tim R Hofmeester, Vilmar Dijkstra, Jasja JA Dekker, Tom van der Meij & Sim Broekhuizen (2019) The status of the Dutch polecat population: correction of a recently published error. Mammalia 83: 453-454. doi: 10.1515/mammalia-2018-0051

13. Tim R Hofmeester, Joris PGM Cromsigt, John Odden, Henrik Andrén, Jonas Kindberg & John DC Linnell (2019) Framing pictures: A conceptual framework to identify and correct for biases in detection probability of camera traps enabling multi-species comparison. Ecology and Evolution 9: 2320-2336. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4878

12. Tim R Hofmeester, Aleksandra I Krawczyk, Arieke Docters van Leeuwen, Manoj Fonville, Margriet GE Montizaan, Koen van den Berge, Jan Gouwy, Sanne C Ruyts, Kris Verheyen & Hein Sprong (2018) Role of mustelids in the life-cycle of ixodid ticks and transmission cycles of four tick-borne pathogens. Parasites & Vectors 11: 600. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-3126-8

11. E Claudia Coipan, L A Gilian van Duijvendijk, Tim R Hofmeester, Katsuhisa Takumi & Hein Sprong (2018) The genetic diversity of Borrelia afzelii is not maintained by the diversity of the rodent hosts. Parasites & Vectors 11: 454. doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-3006-2

10. Sabine E Pfeffer, Robert Spitzer, Andrew M Allen, Tim R Hofmeester, Göran Ericsson, Fredrik Widemo, Navinder J Singh & Joris PGM Cromsigt (2018) Pictures or pellets? Comparing camera trapping and dung counts as methods for estimating population densities of ungulates. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 4: 173-183. doi: 10.1002/rse2.67

9. Tim R Hofmeester, Hein Sprong, Patrick A Jansen, Herbert H T Prins & Sip E van Wieren (2017) Deer presence rather than deer abundance determines the population density of the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus, in Dutch forests. Parasites & Vectors 10: 433. doi: 10.1186/s13071-017-2370-7

8. Tim R Hofmeester, J Marcus Rowcliffe & Patrick A Jansen (2017) Quantifying the availability of vertebrate hosts to ticks: a camera-trapping approach. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 4: 115. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00115

7. Tim R Hofmeester, Patrick A Jansen, Hendrikus J Wijnen, E Claudia Coipan, Manoj Fonville, Herbert H T Prins, Hein Sprong & Sip E van Wieren (2017) Cascading effects of predator activity on tick-borne disease risk. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 284: 20170453. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0453

6. Tim R Hofmeester, J Marcus Rowcliffe & Patrick A Jansen (2017) A simple method for estimating the effective detection distance of camera traps. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 3: 81-89. doi: 10.1002/rse2.25

5. Tim R Hofmeester, E Claudia Coipan, Sip E van Wieren, Herbert H T Prins, Willem Takken & Hein Sprong (2016) Few vertebrate species dominate the Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. life cycle. Environmental Research Letters 11: 043001. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/043001

4. Tim R Hofmeester, Pieter-Bas van der Lei, Arieke Docters van Leeuwen, Hein Sprong & Sip E van Wieren (2016) New foci of Haemaphysalis punctata and Dermacentor reticulatus in the Netherlands. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases 7: 367-370. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2015.12.009

3. G Arjen de Groot, Tim R Hofmeester, Maurice La Haye, Hugh AH Jansman, Maribel Perez-Haro & Hans-Peter Koelewijn (2016) Hidden dispersal in an urban world: genetic analysis reveals occasional long-distance dispersal and limited spatial substructure among Dutch pine martens. Conservation Genetics 17: 111-123. doi: 10.​1007/​s10592-015-0765-6

2. Arno Swart, Adolfo Ibañez-Justicia , Jan Buijs, Sip E van Wieren, Tim R Hofmeester, Hein Sprong & Katsuhisa Takumi (2014) Predicting tick presence by environmental risk mapping. Frontiers in Public Health 2: 238. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00238

1. Jasja JA Dekker & Tim R Hofmeester (2014) The status of the American mink (Neovison vison) in the Netherlands. Lutra 57: 5-15.