Nikki has been exploring the impact of tourism on animals for over a decade, with a special focus on the welfare of elephants used in the tourism industry in Thailand. She has been especially interested in examining how deforestation has changed long-standing relationships between elephants and Indigenous mahouts (caretakers), forcing them to engage in tourism activities that are detrimental to elephant welfare. Nikki has also been studying how more ethical forms of elephant tourism - including sanctuary tourism and community-based volunteer projects - are providing a better future for elephants. These forms of tourism provide a more sustainable alternative to more traditional forms of tourism, which include elephant rides and shows and often have negative implications for elephant welfare.
Research interests / activities