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Grow Your Vision

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Tropical conservation is limited by local capacity, and the next generation of West African conservation scientists are hardly positioned to match the biodiversity crisis. SMACON in collaborations with partners addresses the lack of in-country expertise by inspiring, training and supporting the next generation (gender equitable) of West African ecologists and conservationists. Working with educators from West Africa, and the renowned international experts, it promotes carefully designed student-led, hypothesis-driven research that advances understanding of the West African biome. The West Africa Mammal Fellowship, originally launched as the Nigeria Bat Fellowship in 2019, but has expanded across the region in response to a desperate need to raise the next generation to refocus scientific and conservation interest on neglected small-sized mammal species. Fellows are postgraduate students enrolled at a university in West Africa, who are bright passionate MSc and PhD students that demonstrate motivation to conduct independent actionable science, after participating on our expert-led residential two-week field course on biodiversity science, mammalogy, and field ecology. Post field course, fellows receive further support loan of equipment, and the provision of a small field stipend; and mentored by a partnership of renowned national and international experts. Our fellows' research cover a wide range of topics relating to small mammal biodiversity in West Africa.  

Take a peek at the last field course in this video by one of the program mentors, Dr. Paul Bates

2022 Cohort

2019 Cohort

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