PhD Students

Naza Emmanuel:

DRIVERS OF HUMAN ELEPHANT CONFLICTS AND THEIR MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS: A CASE OF ROMBO AREA, IN KILIMANJARO REGION, TANZANIA

The Rombo area has been dominated by human-elephant conflicts as it is close to three protected areas and comprises highly fertile soils and, thus, agricultural activity. Naza is assessing human-elephant conflict hotspots using GIS mapping, interviews and grey literature as well as field data. Her research will help understanding the main causes for conflict and suggests management options based on spatial and temporal land use changes in the area. Naza´s research is funded by the Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH).

Issakwisa Ngondya:

INVASIVE SPECIES MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION IN NGORONGORO ECOSYSTEM, TANZANIA

Invasive plant species have drastically increased over the last decades in Tanzania, particularly in protected areas. Issa is using field assessment technologies in the Ngorongoro Crater as well as screen house and lab experiments to understand the spread of the invasive plant species. His experiments tested the competitive ability of native plant species against invasives under varying densities as well as using allelopathic effects of native plants. Issa´s research is supported by the Tanzanian Government.

Gabriel Mayengo:

UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF TERMITE MOUNDS AND OTHER NUTRIENT HOTSPOTS FOR UNGULATES IN THE ISSA VALLEY SYSTEM

Nutrient hotspots provide seem to be attractive feeding grounds for herbivorous mammals in an otherwise rather poor savanna system. Gabriel is trying to understand the importance of these nutrient hotspots for ungulates using field observations, camera traps and transect walks. In a fertilizing experiment he also tries to disentangle the factors that might be important in ungulate foraging patch choices. Further, Gabriel is using stable isotopes to trace foraging behavior of ungulates in the Issa Valley System. Gabriel is financially supported by the Higher Education Student Loan Board of Tanzania as well as the Ugalla Primate Project.

Franziska Harich:

CONFLICTS OF HUMAN LAND-USE, CONSERVATION AREAS, AND EXPANDING RUBBER PLANTATIONS: THE CASE OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS

Natural forest is rapidly declining in Southeast Asia, mostly giving way for large-scale rubber plantations. Franziska is trying to understand if and how agricultural landscapes are used by wildlife, with a particular emphasis on the Asian Elephant. Using camera traps, interviews with farmers, walking transects and foraging experiments she is trying to analyse the economic and ecological importance of elephants and other wildlife in the area. Franziska´s project is part of a large interdisciplinary project called SURUMER (Sustainable Rubber Cultivation in the Mekong Sub-Region) and is funded by the BMBF (Ministry for Education and Research in Germany).

Samuel Tuffa Kawo:

ESTIMATING RANGELAND GRASS PRODUCTIVITY UNDER DIFFERENT CLIPPING FREQUENCIES AND RAINFALL AMOUNTS: IMPLICATIONS FOR RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Rangelands in eastern Africa are under threat by overgrazing through livestock and by increasing drought frequencies, reducing grass productivity as well as nutrient contents. Samuel is using clipping and irrigation experiments on two main rangeland grass species in Ethiopia to understand the response of grasses to increasing herbivory and drought occurrences. Further, Samuel uses population modelling to understand future trends and management options for the Boran cattle, the main breed in Ethiopian rangelands, under varying climate change and carrying capacity scenarios. Samuel’s research has been funded by the DAAD exceed grant through the Food Security Centre of the University of Hohenheim.