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Tim Hofmeester

Tim Hofmeester
Animal ecologist interested in the coexistence of mammal communities and people. Citizen Scientist and Camera trapper.


I am an animal ecologist interested in human-wildlife coexistence. I study both the influence of people on wild animals, and the influence that wild animals have 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 non-professionals in the monitoring of wildlife communities, and use these data to answer community ecological questions. At the moment, these projects all 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, with Mustelids (members of the Mustelidae family) in particular. 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 Dutch Small Mustelid Foundation.

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 coordinator of the research school Ecology & Society (ECOS) run by the department of wildlife, fish, and environmental studies and the department of forest economics at SLU. We offer courses, workshops and seminars in topics on the interface between ecology, economy and sociology. I am coordinator for one of the courses: Ecology for non-ecologists, in which we teach the basics of ecology to PhD students that work in multidisciplinary projects including ecology but with a background in other sciences.

I am also the coordinator for PhD education at the department.

I give some lectures in the Fish and Wildlife Census Techniques (BI1302) and Applied Population Ecology (BI1301) courses.


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 mammal communities using camera traps. Our main goal is to utilize data from a volunteer-run camera-trap network that is deployed to study Lynx family groups to study interactions between species within the whole mammal community.

Beyond Moose studies the interactions between different ungulate species in multi-species communities. I am mainly involved in using camera traps to study these interactions.

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.

Meet your wild neighbours is a pilot project funded through SLU Urban Futures where we use citizen science and camera traps to study wildlife over an urban to wild gradient. Within this project, I collaborate with dr Roland Kays at the North Carolina Museum for Natural Sciences and North Carolina State University, Umeå kommun, Naturskolan and Svenska Jägareförbundet Västerbotten.

Forrest fragmentation effects on ticks is a study financed through SLU Future Animals, nature and health where we study the effects of forest fragmentation on ticks and tick-borne pathogens through changes in wildlife communities. Part of this work is done by Nannet Fabri within her PhD research. This project is 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 involved in the development of camera trapping methods to monitor Scandinavian wildlife. Currently, we are developing ways in which hunters can contribute to the monitoring of hunted species through the sharing of the images collected by their camera traps, for which we ran a nation-wide survey.


I work together with researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), North Carolina State University, Göteborg University, Umeå University and different departments at SLU. Next to that, I work together with (local) stakeholders such as Umeå kommun, Vetenskap och Allmänhet, Svenska Jägareförbundet Västerbotten, and the Dutch Small Mustelid Foundation.


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


Currently I (co-)supervise one PhD student Nannet Fabri and several MSc students. 

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

Selected publications

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. 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. 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. 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 (online first) 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.