SMACON Student Research Fellowship

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Sound science relies on effective mentorship and collaboration! At SMACON, we aim to inspire the next generation of ecologists and conservationists to conduct carefully designed hypothesis-driven research that advances our understanding of the natural world and informs evidence-driven conservation. Interest in bat ecology and conservation is budding in Nigeria, but local expertise is severely lacking. To ensure that the science has a solid conceptual basis, we facilitate collaboration between local institutional professors/lecturers and international bat experts work together to co-supervise graduate student projects. Also, many local students face barriers accessing important resources that can make or break a project. Thus, in addition to mentorship, we aim to support students with library access, equipment loans, mini-grants and hands-on training. Our research fellows are selected after attending a workshop and submitting a guided research proposal.

 

We're very grateful to our international mentors Drs Tigga Kingston and Paul Bates for accepting to support local students.

Future workshops

The pandemic made 2020/21 workshops impossible. But we are working with partners and eager to recruit the 2022 cohort of SMACON fellows. Announcements and brochures coming soon.

Meet the 2019 SMACON Research Fellows!

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Elijah Okwuonu is a PhD student and lecturer, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His project seeks to characterize cave bat fauna, their parasites (ecto and endo) and drivers of parasite load across multiple localities in southeastern Nigeria. He will also asses drivers of cave roost choice in cave-dwelling bats.

Institutional co-supervisors:

Prof. I. C. Okoye, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

International co-supervisor:

Dr. Tigga Kingston, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA.

Chidiogo Okoye is a Master’s degree student at the University of Lagos. Her project - dietary composition of the Eidolon helvum colony in Benin city, seeks to characterize the dietary niche breadth of the straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) in Benin City, Nigeria. Her research will provide important data on food resources utilized by this migratory species.

Institutional co-supervisors:

Dr. Sola Iwajomo, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

International co-supervisor:

Dr. Tigga Kingston, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA.

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Kadiri Eshimiakhe is a Masters student at the University of Benin and Ranger at Okomu National Park. Several bat species roost in human dwellings which often leads to bat-human conflicts.  Kadiri will survey bats roosting in human dwellings in villages around Okomu National Park, Nigeria. In addition, he also seeks to understand perceptions of bats among local people. 

Institutional co-supervisors:

Prof. O. T. Aremu, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.

International co-supervisor:

Dr. Tigga Kingston, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA.