Category Archives: Publications

Elephant Masters Theses: one is completed, another begins!

These are exciting times for our team. First, a massive congratulations to Joram, who is now officially Ponjoli Joram M.Sc. after completing his EU Erasmus Mundus Masters in Applied Ecology. His thesis, pictured below, was passed without revisions, a terrific achievement. We hope to make the whole thesis downloadable soon, and will be blogging more about the findings of the study – which is being continued on the ground by UEP research assistants Paulo and Jose – in the coming months. Meantime, no rest for the wicked, and no time to celebrate – Joram is already back in the field in Udzungwa, implementing the RRF-funded emergency project (see previous blog below), working with farmers on crop-raiding mitigation measures.

Joram's thesis

Also this month, in other good news – we have managed to raise enough money through private donations to cover the first year’s academic fees for the masters project of Lukinga Thabit at the University of Dar es Salaam. Followers of our blog will be aware that Lukinga is going to be working in a critical elephant corridor just north of the Udzungwa Mountains – and he is enrolling this month at the university, and already working hard on his research proposal in collaboration with Dr. Nahonyo in the Zoology Department, and the UEP. Congratulations to Lukinga, as he embarks on his important work – we will be supporting you all the way.

Elephants, Ivory and Trade

Over the last several weeks, I coordinated a multi-author Science policy paper (initially submitted as an opinion piece to and rejected by the journal Pachyderm) arguing against resumption of the ivory trade until better data become available.  We recommended that CITES make consultation between neighboring countries that share elephant populations
compulsory when one of them petitions CITES to downlist and trade. Following its publication, I was invited to discuss the issue on BBC’s Science in Action program.

Our article is available on Save the Elephants website: Elephants, Ivory and Trade.

Our field note in the journal Pachyderm

Pachy 46

Our field note on using dung bolus diameter to estimate elephant age in the Udzungwas has been published in the journal Pachyderm. The journal cover sports a photograph of an Udzungwa elephant taken by our friend and colleague, the talented photographer and herpetologist Michele Menegon.