Fellowship: Rocca Dissertation Research
Fellowship Year(s): 2016
Project/Theme Title: Wildlife ecology in shared spaces: Effects of human activity on animal behavior, distribution, and population dynamics in post-war Mozambique
Abstracts: Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, human populations are growing and coming into greater contact with wildlife, and conservationists are seeking creative solutions for wildlife protection in mixed-use landscapes. Planning for the future coexistence of humans and animals requires a nuanced understanding of their interactions, grounded in ecology that explicitly incorporates the role of humans. To that end, my dissertation research will explore the effects of lethal and non-lethal human activity on post-war wildlife restoration in Gorongosa National Park, located central Mozambique. I will use a range of field methods and existing datasets to assess anthropogenic effects on ungulate anti-predator behavior, distribution, population dynamics, and community composition. My research draws on concepts from behavioral and community ecology, including predator-prey theory, to examine the effects of anthropogenic risk and mortality at multiple temporal, spatial, and ecological scales. I hope to inform conservation planning in Gorongosa and to incorporate anthropogenic effects into ecological theory.