African Graduate Student Research Fund

Chair

Members

  • Bernad Agwanda (Kenya)
  • Bruce Buttler
  • Adam W. Ferguson
  • Jacob R. Goheen
  • Anne-Marie C. Hodge
  • Prince Kaleme (DRC)
  • Alicia V. Linzey
  • Molly M. McDonough
  • Patricia D. Moehlman
  • Ryan W. Norris
  • Safian Rabiu (Nigeria)
  • Chloé W. Rodriques (Canada)
  • Robert K. Rose
  • Duane A. Schlitter
  • Matt Snyder
  • Sydney R. Stephens

 

History and Mission

The African Graduate Student Research Fund committee was formed in 2013 as an ad hoc committee and was promoted to a standing committee in 2016. Its mission is to support the next generation of African mammalogists by awarding individual grants of $1,500 and an online ASM membership to African nationals pursuing graduate degrees. Between 2014 and 2018, 2-3 awards were granted annually; in 2019, four proposals were funded thanks to several generous donations. The next deadline for applications is 15 April 2020.

2019 Award Winners

In 2019 55 applications from citizens of 20 African countries enrolled in 37 institutions spanning 13 countries and five continents were submitted. The American Society of Mammalogists congratulates this year’s successful applicants and those receiving honorable mention, wishes them the best of luck with their research, and looks forward to learning of their results!

Kiara Avelyen Haylock is a PhD student at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) investigating the responses of free-ranging sable antelope (Hippotragus niger niger) to stressful environmental conditions in the Kavango Zambezi (KaZa) Transfrontier Conservation Area. Kiara is collecting a comprehensive ecophysiological dataset detailing how a rare, specialist antelope species alters its movements, behavior, and physiology in response to high heat load, aridity, and resource stress. The outcomes of her research will ultimately contribute to the improved conservation and management of not only a rare African antelope species but specialist species in general, particularly in the face of climate change.


Daniel Konzin is working towards a master's degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) on the ecology of pangolins in Assin Attandanso Resource Reserve (AARR) of the Kakum Conservation Area (KCA). Specifically, he is investigating resource partitioning between Phataginus tricuspis and P. tetradactyla and the nutritional composition of their respective prey items. Daniel will use funds from his award to pay for travel to and from his field sites and to purchase equipment. Results from his work will provide insight into the foraging behavior of pangolins in the wild and will better inform management of pangolins in captive settings.
 

Levi Matana is a master's student at The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (Tanzania) studying the feeding ecology of giraffes in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem, Tanzania. Giraffes inhabit naturally heterogeneous ecosystems. Currently, African rangelands have been altered strongly due to the spread of woody plants into open savanna landscapes, particularly in eastern Africa, where the grazing pressure of livestock and wildlife is high. Despite a general increase in woody vegetation across the savanna rangeland systems, giraffe numbers have declined in recent decades. Levi is investigating how the spread of woody plants might either benefit  or adversely affect feeding ecology in this iconic African mammal. His results will inform the best rangeland management practices for effective biodiversity conservation.
 

Prisca Razafy is a PhD student in Zoology and Animal Biodiversity at the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar). She is investigating ecological niche partitioning among sympatric, native, small-bodied carnivore species and their responses to the invasion of non-native carnivores at forest sites within and around Mantadia National Park, Madagascar. Using a combination of camera traps and GPS collars, Prisca is documenting habitat selection in both groups. ASM funding will enable her to purchase additional equipment and pay field assistants, and the results of her study will both advance ecological theory and inform management decisions affecting Madagascar's declining, forest-dwelling carnivores.

2019 Honorable Mention

Three additional applicants are recognized for their outstanding proposals that ASM was nonetheless unable to support due to insufficient funding (you can help by donating here!). John Ademola (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania) is researching the community ecology and population genetics of rodents in the forests of Ukaguru Eastern Arc Mountain, Tanzania, for his PhD; Leo Khasoha (University of Nairobi, Kenya) is a master's student studying dietary breadth in the small mammals occupying the Mpala Conservancy in Kenya; and Oduor Sandy (Kenyatta University, Kenya) is using non-invasive techniques to monitor physiological stress in African elephants at Mpala Ranch, Laikipia County, Kenya, for his master's research

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