University of Leicester
Genomic tools for great-ape population dynamics and conservation
Prof Mark A Jobling/ Dr Celia A May/ Dr Jon H Wetton
I will be studying the genetic diversity in great apes and will exploit the latest technology for DNA sequencing for individual identification to understand population dynamics. Different DNA sequencing methods will be combined allowing also to conduct in-field analysis of bushmeat samples in the attempt to reduce a major threat to wild ape population and aid conservation.
What inspires you
My interest in the natural world matured during my travels when, as a child, I was fascinated by the natural wonders. I will never forget my first encounter with the Big 5 in Africa, or with the whale shark in Malaysia!
I hold a BA in Economics and Management from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and an MSc in Conservation & Ecology from Edinburgh Napier University. I have volunteered for international NGOs in South Africa and Uganda, interned for the European Commission Joint Research Centre and spent 8 months at the Royal Botanic Gardens – Kew, working on a conservation project for the Americas Team. I am currently researching for the University of Florence (Italy). My duties include: assessing herbivore impacts on the Elba island vegetation, camera-trapping and supervising students.
Why did you choose doctoral research?
During my study and work experience I have grown a particular passion for conservation and started to appreciate the need for well-trained ecologists/conservationists. In this regard, I believe Doctoral Research is a fundamental step to prepare myself for my future in conservation.
Why did you choose CENTA?
What really intrigued me about the CENTA studentship was the possibility of being part of a diverse team of people.
It would be great if I could continue in research in the form of a post-doc. Alternatively, I would love to carry out my own research project somewhere in Africa.