Conservation Interests

I am presently involved in a number of different conservation programs in Uganda. One major effort is a collaborative research program with the Fisheries Resources Research Institute of Uganda and members of the Lake Victoria Research Team that focuses on patterns of biodiversity loss and recovery in the Lake Victoria basin of East Africa and management options that reconcile fisheries sustainability with biodiversity conservation (see Research overview).

In addition to studies in the Lake Victoria system, I have worked collaboratively with Dr. Colin Chapman on studies of tropical forest restoration ecology in western Uganda to provide managers with information valuable in restoring degraded tropical forests, and on studies linking patterns of land use to biodiversity (aquatic and terrestrial). Currently, we are participating in a collaborative NSF-funded program that focuses on quantifying consequences of national parks for land use, livelihood diversification, and biodiversity in East Africa.

Interactions between agriculture and biodiversity are particularly intense in East Africa, where agriculture remains the predominant livelihood activity, while population growth rates have been among the highest in the world, and the number and extent of protected areas has been increasing. The areas surrounding parks in East Africa comprise an extremely important, but inadequately studied, category of landscapes in which the interactions among protected areas, agricultural lands, and biodiversity are critical to the futures of all three.

We are also working with Uganda and North American colleagues to ensure the future of the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS), Kibale National Park, Uganda. Located in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the station offers access to a tremendous diversity of habitats and the opportunity to learn from numerous conservation and development initiatives (e.g., see Kibale Community Fuel Wood Project). My work in the field of aquatic conservation has also involved development of local conservation education programs in Uganda, collaboration with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority to create management options for in-Park fisheries, graduate training, development of field courses in tropical ecology and conservation, and efforts to synthesize our current state of knowledge (e.g., see co-edited a volume on the Conservation, Ecology, and Management of African Fresh Waters). These contributions have benefited from a long-term association with the Wildlife Conservation Society where I serve as an Associate Scientist, and recent collaboration with the Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund.