June 3, 2002
The University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History has received a grant in the amount of $132,818 to lead a multinational effort for the conservation of fish biodiversity in Guinea, West Africa. Scientists from ULM, the University of Kansas, Texas A&M, and the Museum National d'HistoireNaturelle of Paris, France will work with Guinean colleagues at two research institutions, Centre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura (CNSHB) and Centre de Recherche Scientifique de Conakry Rogbané (CERESCOR), and the University of Kankan. The scientists will inventory fish species; evaluate their habitats and construct a computer database of the information. The database will allow conservation biologists to discover and protect habitat critical for species survival and to monitor species distribution. Ichthyological research collections will be developed in Guinea to support future studies.
This project complements a current project for ULM students funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). ULM undergraduates Caroline Dixon and Amy Matthews, and graduate students Mark Antwine and Amanda Rosenzweig, are working with ULM professors Dr. John Carr and Dr. Frank Pezold, and researchers from the University of Kansas, the American Museum of Natural History, CNSHB, CERESCOR, and the University of Kankan (Guinea), on an extended field trip in the Parc National du Haut Niger of Guinea. The students are assisting the researchers to collect fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and information on species habitat needs.
The project is funded through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership of Conservation International, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Global Environmental Facility, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. As part of the program, five Guinea researchers, including Director Abdouramane Kaba and Samba Tenin Diallo of CNSHB, and Bangaly Kaba of CERESCOR, will be hosted for a three week Global Information Systems (GIS)/English language workshop at ULM. Following the African fieldwork, two Guinean students will use project collections as the basis of research in the ULM Masters of Biology program.
ULM is currently selecting students to participate in next year's field trip to Guinea, which will take place in May and run for approximately 3-4 weeks. Interested students should contact Ms. Sami Recoulley, HHMI program coordinator, at 318-342-1885, or Dr. Frank Pezold or Dr. John Carr for more information.