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Tim Hofmeester

Tim Hofmeester
I an Associate professor (sv: docent) in wildlife biology with a strong interest in human-wildlife coexistence, conservation technology and wildlife monitoring. I am also the coordinator for SLU's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment program Wildlife.

Presentation

As a wildlife biologist I have an interest in all wildlife, but I have a special passion for small carnivores and generally focus on the smaller wildlife species (including rodents and bats). One of my aims is to increase the interest in these lesser known mammals of stakeholders and the general public. The majority of my research looks at how land-use and climate influence the presence and abundance of wildlife, as well as interactions among species, and how this impacts ecosystem functioning. I aim for an inclusive wildlife monitoring by involving volunteers (citizen science) and different stakeholders (hunting associations, county administrative boards). I use these monitoring data to study wildlife responses to climate and land-use. Furthermore, I have an interest in conservation technology, applied statistics, disease ecology, and social aspects related to wildlife. I currently collaborate with computer scientists, wildlife managers, and social scientists, to strive for a direct impact of my science on society. I am specifically interested in how we can use technology to improve wildlife monitoring, and how we could use this 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 to study wildlife communities. Within this research line, I use conservation technology - camera traps, acoustic sensors, artificial intelligence - to monitor and study wildlife communities. I develop and test new methods to use these technologies in wildlife research, and collaborate with different stakeholders to explore how these technologies can be used within wildlife management and conservation.

2) Involving the general public in studying wildlife. 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. Furthermore, the involvement of many people can help with obtaining wildlife data from vast areas, which combined with sensor technology can inform wildlife management at regional to national scales.

3) Small carnivore ecology and conservation. 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 am an associate editor for the journals Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation and Mammalian Biology.

Teaching

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; 

BI1299: Fish and Wildlife Management;

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, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), and several Swedish County Administrative Boards (sv: Länsstyrelserna). Within the project, we use camera traps to monitor Scandinavian wildlife with a focus on the Eurasian lynx. The project is now in it´s second phase. The main goal of the first phase (2017-2020) was to study factors affecting detection of different wildlife species by cameras, 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 (2021-2024) 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).

Viltbild is a collaboration with the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management (sv: Svenska Jägareförbundet) in which we are developing a platform to collect camera-trapping images taken by the thousands of cameras that hunters are using all over Sweden. Long-term we hope to use this platform as a digital monitoring tool to monitor Swedish game species with the help of hunters.

Reproductive timing of mammals in a changing world is a research program where we study the timing of reproduction in seven mammal species (red fox, badger, pine marten, polecat, European hare, mountain hare and beaver) in relation to food availability and weather/climate conditions. The background to the program is that we lack up-to-date knowledge of the timing of reproduction for these species, which is required for the review of hunting times. I am responsible for sub-projects on pine marten and polecat.

Past projects:

Swedish polecat project was 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 was funded by the Swedish EPA (2019-2023).

Beyond Moose was a large research program 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 was involved by using camera traps to study these interactions. Beyond Moose was mainly financed by the Swedish EPA throught the wildlife management fund (2015-2022).

Meet your wild neighbours was a pilot project funded through SLU Urban Futures (2019-2020) where we used a combination of citizen science and conservation technology to study wildlife over an urban to wild gradient. The project consisted of two parts: 1) people could borrow a camera trap to study the terrestrial wildlife on their property, and 2) people could borrow a bat detector to help us map bat activity within the municipality. 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.

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

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, with a focus on small game species and ungulates. This effort started in 2021 with financial support from the SLU Environmental Monitoring and Assessment program Wildlife. We are currently working on setting up three reference areas, two with the help of existing SITES (Swedish Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science) stations and one with the help of local authorities. Eventually, these data will hopefully be combined with data from the Scandcam and Viltbild projects (see above) to allow for better extrapolation to a national scale.

Furthermore, I am the coordinator for the environmental monitoring and assessment program Wildlife at SLU.

Cooperation

I work(ed) 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, University of Groningen (the Netherlands), and the Mammal Research Institute in Białowieża (Poland)

Furthermore, I work(ed) together with local, regional, national and international stakeholders such as Umeå municipality, several county administrative boards (Länsstyrelsen), 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.

I am also involved in a project about bats and citizen science at the Umeå University's science center Curiosum.

Background

2019 - now Researcher at VFM, SLU, Umeå, Sweden

2023 Docent (Associate professor) in biology, SLU, Umeå, Sweden

2017-2019 Post-doc at the department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies (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

I supervise one Postdoc: Magali Frauendorf, and co-supervise one PhD student: Allan Stokes. Next to that, I supervise several BSc and MSc students every semester. 

If you are interested in doing a BSc or MSc thesis with me, please feel free to contact me.

Past PhD students:

Nannet Fabri (2018-2022): Ticking off the ungulate box : the role of different ungulate species in the transmission of tick-borne pathogens.

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

Selected publications

Peer-reviewed publications

43. Rocío Cano-Martínez, Neri H Thorsen, Tim R Hofmeester, John Odden, John DC Linnell, Olivier Devineau, Siaw Yan Jennifer Angoh & Morten Odden (in press) Bottom-up rather than top-down mechanisms determine mesocarnivore interactions in Norway. Ecology and Evolution. (preprint: doi: 10.22541/au.169755366.65406099/v1)

42. Pieter Otte, Joris PGM Cromsigt, Christian Smit & Tim R Hofmeester (early view) Snow cover-related camouflage mismatch increases detection by predators. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology. doi: 10.1002/jez.2784

41. David Jachowski, Scott M Bergeson, Stacey R Cotey, Elizabeth Croose, Tim R Hofmeester, Jenny MacPherson, Patrick Wrigth, Camilo A Calderón-Acevedo, Stephen P Carter, Andrin C Dürst, Gregory B Egloff, M Kevin Hamed, Paul Hapeman, Stephen N Harris, Kendyl Hassler, Jean-Yves Humbert, Denise Karp, Roland Kays, Jelena Mausbach, Dana J Morin, Jeroen Mos, Salvador S Allué, Lisa Smith, Joshua P Twining, Chad R Williamson & Karol Zub (early view) Non-invasive methods for monitoring weasels: Emerging technologies and priorities for future research. Mammal Review. doi: 10.1111/mam.12344

40. Tim R Hofmeester, Jeroen Mos & Karol Zub (early view) Comparing direct (live-trapping) and indirect (camera-trapping) approaches for estimating the abundance of weasels (Mustela nivalis). Mammalian Biology. doi: 10.1007/s42991-023-00394-z

39. Jakub W Bubnicki, Ben Norton, Steven J Baskauf, Tom Bruce, Francesca Cagnacci, Jim Casaer, Marcin Churski, Joris PGM Cromsigt, Simone Dal Farra, Christian Fiderer, Tavis D Forrester, Heidi Hendry, Marco Heurich, Tim R Hofmeester, Patrick A Jansen, Roland Kays, Dries PJ Kuijper, Yorick Liefting, John DC Linnell, Mathew S Luskin, Christopher Mann, Tanja Milotic, Peggy Newman, Jürgen Niedballa, Damiano Oldoni, Federico Ossi, Tim Robertson, Francesco Rovero, Marcus Rowcliffe, Lorenzo Seidenari, Izabela Stachowicz, Dan Stowell, Mathias W Tobler, John Wieczorek, Fridolin Zimmermann & Peter Desmet (early view) Camtrap DP: An open standard for the FAIR exchange of archiving of camera trap data. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. doi: 10.1002/rse2.374

38. Nannet Fabri, Hans Heesterbeek, Joris PGM Cromsigt, Frauke Ecke, Hein Sprong, Lonneke Nijhuis, Tim R Hofmeester & Nienke Hartemink (2024) Exploring the influence of host community composition on the outbreak potential of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 15, 102275. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2023.102275

37. Pablo Palencia, Pelayo Acevedo, Tim R Hofmeester, Jorge Sereno-Cadierno & Joaquin Vicente (2023) Inter-population variability in movement parameters: practical implications for population density estimation. Journal of Wildlife Management, 87, e22473. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.22473

36. Allan Stokes, Tim R Hofmeester, Neri H Thorsen, John Odden, John DC Linnell & Simen Pedersen (2023) Altitude, latitude and climate zone as determinants of mountain hare (Lepus timidus) coat colour change. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10548. doi: 10.1002/ece3.10548

35. Juan Camilo Cepeda-Duque, Eduven Arango-Correa, Gabriel P Andrade-Ponce, Luis Mazariegos, Tim R Hofmeester & Héctor E Ramírez-Chaves (2023) Expanding the frontiers of camera-trapping in Colombia: application of the “Mostela” system to gain knowledge on small non-volant mammals from an Andean cloud forest. Mammalia, 87, 419-428. doi: 10.1515/mammalia-2023-0033

34. Siow Yan Jennifer Angoh, Neri H Thorsen, Tim R Hofmeester, John Odden, John DC Linnell & Scott Brainerd (2023) Forestry and environmental conditions as determinants of pine marten Martes martes occurrence in Norway. Wildlife biology, 2023, e01113. doi: 10.1002/wlb3.01113

33. Thomas Osinga, Henrik Thurfjell & Tim R Hofmeester (2023) Snow limits polecat Mustela putorius distribution in Sweden. Wildlife Biology, 2023, e01051. doi: 10.1002/wlb3.01051

32. Erica von Essen, Jonathon Turnbull, Adam Searle, Finn Arne Jørgensen, Tim R Hofmeester & René van der Wal (2023) Wildlife in the Digital Anthropocene: Examining human-animal relations through surveillance technologies. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 6, 679-699. doi: 10.1177/25148486211061704

31. Nannet D Fabri, Hein Sprong, Hans Heesterbeek, Frauke Ecke, Joris PGM Cromsigt & Tim R Hofmeester (2022) The circulation of Anaplasma phagocytophilum ecotypes is associated with community composition of vertebrate hosts. Ecosphere, 13, e4243. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.4243

30. Pablo Palencia, Patricia Barroso, Joaquín Vincente, Tim R Hofmeester, Javier Ferreres & Pelayo Acevedo (2022) Random encounter model is a reliable method for estimating population density of multiple species using camera traps. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 8, 670-682. doi: 10.1002/rse2.269

29. Neri H Thorsen, Richard Bischof, Jenny Mattisson, Tim R Hofmeester, John DC Linnell & John Odden (2022) Smartphone app reveals that lynx avoid human recreationists on local scale, but not home range scale. Scientific reports, 12, 4787. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08468-7

28. Anna Widén, Michael Clinchy, Annika M Felton, Tim R Hofmeester, Dries PJ Kuijper, Navinder J Singh, Fredrik Widemo, Liana Y Zanette & Joris PGM Cromsigt (2022) Playbacks of predator vocalizations reduce crop damage by ungulates. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 328, 107853. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2022.107853

27. Anna Wereszczuk, Tim R Hofmeester, Alexander Csanády, Tomislav Dumić, Morten Elmeros, József Lanszki, Aksel B Madsen, Gerard Müskens, Malamati A Papakosta, Marcin Popiołek, Margarida Santos-Reis, Iñigo Zuberogoitia & Andrzej Zalewski (2021) Different increase rate in body mass of two marten species due to climate warming potentially reinforces interspecific competition. Scientific reports, 11, 24164. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03531-1

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.

Preprints