Project collaborations

19°S: Spotted hyaena spatial ecology along a rainfall gradient

The aim of this collaborative project is to understand the effects of environmental parameters and prey availability on spotted hyaena home ranges and movements. We included data from several national parks, including Etosha in the west, and Khaudum, Bwabwata, Nkasa Rupara, Mudumu and to Hwange in the east.


Edible insects of Southern Africa

Wild edible insects are widely distributed in southern Africa and are sources of nutrition and income for rural people.

  • Landscape genetics of termites in Namibia
    Fungus-growing termites play a vital role in the health of semi-arid ecosystems as “soil engineers”. Cataloguing the diversity of both fungus-growing termites species and their symbiotic fungi has been hampered by limitations of classic taxonomy which relies on morphological characters. We will assemble novel baseline data on the diversity of fungus-growing termites and their symbiotic fungi in Namibia using DNA-based methods. This project will result in the first catalogue of fungus-growing termites and their symbiotic fungi species, their phylogenetic relationships, and the geographic distribution of species diversity in Namibia.
    Project proposal
  • Landscape genetics of edible caterpillars
    Of the 20 caterpillar species reported as edible, the mopane worm (Gonimbrasia belina) is the most significantly exploited and traded, locally and across borders. Currently, genetic data on edible caterpillar diversity and phylogeography in Southern Africa is very scarce.


Lion population genetics

Increasing anthropogenic influences lead to a fragmentation of the habitat of various wild animal populations around the globe and reduces gene flow. In the past century, this also happened increasingly to African lion populations.

Assessing genetic diversity of lions in northern Namibia
The aim of this project is to establish a molecular toolbox for invasive and non-invasive lion sampling. Following the successful application of the molecular toolbox, standard population genetics questions can be answered.

Namibian Lion Genome Project Conservation Genomics
The aim of this conservation genomics project is to develop a database and analysis platform for wildlife DNA sequences including Namibian lion samples. Additionally the Namibian lion genomic data will contribute to the continent-wide Africa Lion Genome Project.