The USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) – Wildlife Conservation and Anti-trafficking (2015 – 2018) as recently funded a three year collaborative project between the International Center for Insect Ecology and Physiology ICIPE, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) entitled “End of the road for illegal bushmeat trade in East Africa: Establishing transboundary surveillance by high resolution melting (HRM) analysis of vertebrate molecular barcodes” The project is aimed at enhancing national and transboundary bushmeat surveillance between Tanzania and Kenya for investigating wildlife poaching and trafficking, strengthen the capacities of SUA and KWS wildlife services for bushmeat surveillance, facilitating legal deterrence of its illegal trade and informing translocation of wildlife and other conservation management decisions based on their impact on feeding preferences of ticks and tsetse flies, and disease transmission.
This multi-institution program responds to the Kenya and Tanzania Wildlife conservation and anti trafficking focus area by addressing the need to i) strengthen wildlife prosecution and law enforcement against perpetrators of illegal bushmeat trade and ii) inform sound ecosystem management policies at the human-livestock wildlife interface. Effective prosecution against illegal bushmeat trade in Tanzania and Kenya is hampered by lack of cheap scientific methods and trained personnel to undertake high throughput screening of suspect samples. The proposed research will develop cost-effective HRMA-based bushmeat identification at ICIPE, SUA and KWS and build the capacity for its implementation by wildlife agencies in Tanzania and Kenya. The protocols will enhance transboundary surveillance systems by accelerating identification of wildlife barcodes in samples, which can then be sequenced to provide forensic proof for prosecution. Adoption of this method by the wildlife agencies will generate crucial data on the extent of illegal bushmeat trade in the region, thereby providing a basis for review and harmonization of national and cross-border policies, laws and penalties against illegal bushmeat trade.
Call for PhD Fellowhip
The USAID-PEER project in collaboration ICIPE has position for PhD training to a Tanzanian young WOMAN graduate with a minimum qualification of an MSc in any specialty related to this project. The Organization for Women in Science for Developing World (OWSD) in partnership with ICIPE will cover top up training costs not covered by the project under the USAID-PEER fellowship
http://owsd.net/career-development/phd-fellowship. The PhD studies will address one of the project objective which is aimed at using among others HRM approach in studying the impact of mass wildlife translocations in the Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem on the changes in diversity and abundance of tick species and tick-borne pathogens in Kenya and Tanzania. This will be before and after the annual wildlife migration across the Maasai Mara-Serengeti corridor.
i. MSc WOMEN graduates below the age of 40 years currently working in disciplines related to this project.
ii. Highly motivated individuals interested in developing their scientific career especially in wildlife and other natural resources management activities
iii. Full time availability to engage in a 3 year PhD training program.
iv. Willingness to work in a team and has a strong ambition to accomplish the training as required by the USAID-PEER program
v. Good academic track records /transcripts.
vi. Excellent communication skills and good command of spoken and written English.
How to apply
i. Potential candidates are hereby invited to submit an application letter, curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and certificates, two names of academic referees with at least one of them being the immediate work supervisors
ii. Applications should be submitted in soft copies in PDF format and MUST reach the TZ - PEER project PI by 26rd April 2016. Successful applicants will be notified and required to appear for an interview on 6th May 2016 after which they will be invited to apply for OWSD fellowship.
iii. The candidate will be required register at SUA and ICIPE will provide full time technical and advanced molecular and bioinformatics support. SUA will also provide HRMA support for this project
iv. The application documents should be sent to Prof B.M Mutayoba USAID-PEER project PI for Tanzania. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
More information on the project details can be obtained from: Professor B.M Mutayoba Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Sokoine University of Agriculture P. O. Box 3017, Morogoro, Tanzania Tel: +255 762411406, 683112355 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com