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Mammal Partnership.

Small-sized mammals are ecological sentinels that face a silent extinction – often neglected in conservation programs. In West Africa, evidence-based conservation is a budding enterprise, limited by in-country capacity for actionable science, infrastructure, and funding for scientists and conservationists. In addition, despite shared threats and policy limitations, scientists and conservationists in the region remain isolated, limiting the ability to mount effective landscape scale responses to the biggest challenges of our time. The Mammal partnership will bridge the gap for neglected small-sized mammals through local/regional/international collaborations, and transformational capacity strengthening for the next generation of scientists and conservationists. Invited partners represent seven countries: Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali. Partners are scientists with a PhD in their early to mid-career stages, who are eligible to supervise postgraduate students recruited into the West Africa Mammal Fellowship (WAMFell). The inaugural meeting of the Mammal Partnership held in July, 2023 during a three day meeting that will explore collaborative work across the West African region. Organized by SMACON through generous donations from the Otterfonds Foundation, and Future for Nature to SMACON, and HerpGhana. 

West Africa Mammal Partners

Cryptic - Cons

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Dr. Baise Kadjo

Université Félix Houphouet Boigny - Ivory Coast

Research interests:

  • Bat biology, ecology, and conservation

  • Small mammals zoonosis

  • Terrestrial small mammals diversity across forest and savannah zone

Current research projects:

  • Biology, ecology, zoonosis risk and conservation of Mount Nimba Reserve bats

  • Small mammal diversity and ecology across elevation gradient in west Côte d’Ivoire

  • Eidolon helvum population protection and educational programmes for school

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University of Ghana

Dr. Benjamin Ofori

Research interests:

  • Urban ecology and biodiversity conservation

  • Extractive industries and wildlife conservation and management

  • Species distribution modeling under climate and land-use change, and pest rodent ecology

 

Current research projects:

  • Diet, behavior, and habitat selection of small mammals and herpetofauna along rural-urban gradients

  • Species redistribution under climate and land-use change

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Dr. Olaoluwa John

University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Research interests:

  • Population ecology

  • Conservation of endemic/endangered rodents/shrews and their habitats

  • Anthropogenic disturbances and rodent diversity and their parasites
     

Current research projects:

  • Assessment and conservation of endangered and endemic rodents/shrews

  • Ecology of rodents and their ecto-/endo-parasites

  • Human-wildlife conflicts in Nigeria: managing rodents in human-modified habitats

  • Pangolin conservation in Kwara State

Small - Zoon

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Prof. Bruno Agossou DJOSSA

Université Nationale d'Agriculture - Benin Republic

Research interests:

  • Animal ecology and ecosystem services provided by animals in natural habitats and agrosystems.

  • Wildlife study and population dynamics assessment for conservation purposes.

  • Agrochemical pollution and ecosystem services studies. 

Current research projects:

  • Behavioral ecology, home range patterns and habitat use of the critically endangered red-bellied monkey (Cercopithecus e. erythrogaster): implications for conservation in Benin.

  • Biodiversity, ecology and analysis of indicator value of avifuna of saxicultural vegetation of the Department of Collines in Benin.

  • Analysis of food resources availability and speed of honey production from an apiary in southern Benin.

  • Usefulness analysis of new remote sensing technologies in forestry for the detection of cashew plantations and the estimation of carbon stock in the context of climate change in Benin.

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Dr. Grace Sabo Nok KIA

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Research interests:

  • Molecular Epidemiology of infectious zoonoses.

  • Viral Pathogen discovery

  • Disease Surveillance, control and elimination in One Health context using rabies as case study.​

Current research projects:

  • Enhance rabies outbreak surveillance in Nigeria, to help control and eliminate the disease.

  • Capacity building for whole genomic sequencing of rabies and other infectious diseases to inform policy for control.

  • Epigenetic modification studies and the role it plays in rabies virus escape from the host immune system.

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Prof. Alain Didier MISSOUP

University of Douala, Cameroon

Research interests:

  • Small mammals systematics and biogeography.

  • Conservation genetics

  • Ecology of Zoonoses

  • Rodent pest management

Current research projects:

  • Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2(-like) viruses in African bushmeat markets, and perceptions of health risks related to COVID-19 and bushmeat consumption.

  • Decreasing the threat of Monkeypox emergence and spread in West and Central Africa.

  • Genbarque: Research and training in genomics for the study of biodiversity.

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Prof. Tunde IMOOBE

University of Benin, Nigeria

Research interests:

  • Selection of Appropriate Statistical Methods for Data Analysis.

  • Species composition, population dynamics and habitat association of small mammals in a National Park in Nigeria.

  • Conservation Status of the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta Cyclotis ) in a National Park in Nigeria

  • Zooplankton species diversity and use as bioindicators

  • Macrobenthic invertebrates as biomonitors of aquatic ecosystem health

  • Toxicological effects of pollutants on fish and aquatic invertebrates

Current research projects:

  • Biological Water Quality Indices Using Benthic Macroinvertebrates.

  • Thyroid Endocrine Disruption in Coptodon guineensis (Guinean Tilapia)

  • Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations in African River Prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii

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Dr. Assane Gueye Fall

Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles

Research interests:

  • Ecology and control of vector born diseases.

  • Zoonotic hemorrhagic viral diseases in domestic animals and wildlife.

Current research projects:

  • Controlling and progressively Minimizing the Burden of Animal Trypanosomosis.

  • Coordinated One Health approach to risk assessment of hemorrhagic fever viruses in West Africa.

  • Identification and characterization of ecosystem favorable to re-emerging zoonotic diseases in Senegal: Rift Valley Fever virus and Crimée Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus.

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Dr Noel Gabiliga THIOMBIANO

Université Joseph KI-ZERBO – Burkina Faso

Research interests:

  • Animal biology and ecology.

  • Parasitology and bacteriology of small mammals.

  • Zoonotic disease research.

  • Biodiversity conservation

Current research projects:

  • Diversity and distribution of ectoparasites and helminths of bats and rodents.

  • Identification and molecular characterization of bat hemosporidia and trypanosomes

  • Research into zoonotic pathogens of small mammals.

  • Implications of small mammals in the transmission of emerging diseases.

  • Antibio-resistance of small mammalian zoonotic bacteria.

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Dr. Chabi Djagoun

University of Abomey Calavi

Research interests:

  • Ecology and conservation of small carnivores

  • Ecosystem impact and sustainability of bushmeat exploitation in forest ecosystem functioning

  • Ecohealth and sustainability of hunting in Benin

  • Sustainable wildlife management and planning of protected areas.

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Dr. Eric Bakwo 

Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles

Research interests:

  • Bat ecology and taxonomy.

Current research projects:

  • Bat community responses to human activities

  • Acoustic recordings for bats of Cameroon.

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