Letitia Cookson



My broad interests are in conservation and ecology, in understanding the impacts of human activity on wildlife and finding ways for people to connect with the natural world. These interests have driven me to work in woodlands across the UK, with elephant researchers and NGOs in Kenya, and more recently with environmentally-conscious logging industry in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, as part of my MRes.

My Mres project compares butterfly morphology and microclimate recovery across areas of forest differentially affected by selective logging. Selective logging is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation in the tropics and its impacts on biodiversity, species richness and distribution are widespread. However, environmental disturbance will affect individuals, their morphology, physiology or behaviour well before changes are observed at the population-level.

Exploring these morphological effects alongside microclimate variables will improve our understanding of what drives population change after logging.

Project website

About me

I love the outdoors – camping in the UK and abroad, bushcraft, hiking, climbing, good coffee and a healthy pint. I also do a bit of art on the side and am currently working on a couple of portfolios – the first, a series of field sketches providing insights into the life and attitudes of elephants, the second, a collection of abstract oil paintings capturing the colour and patterns of tropical butterflies. For the latter, my aim is to convey the differences in butterfly morphology we see in primary and degraded forest habitats.

Art website