After 14 years in ICT I discovered I should have become a biologist when I arrived in Nairobi for my first visit to Africa in 1997. Starting in 2004 I studied for two years at the College of African Wildlife Management in Moshi, Tanzania, for a Diploma in Wildlife Management. In 2006 I volunteered for four months at the Rare and Endangered Species Trust in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, where I collected data on the endangered Cape Griffon Vulture Gyps coprotheres and looked after the non-releasable raptors. In 2007 the Diploma in Wildlife Management gave me access to the Masters Conservation Biology programme at Manchester Metropolitan University. My thesis was on the population status and habitat associations of the Madeira Buzzard Buteo buteo harterti, a disputed subspecies of the Common Buzzard. I completed my Masters with Distinction in 2009.
I now know that my skills as an analyst are best suited to statistical ecology. Res Altwegg (SANBI) is my direct supervisor, Les Underhill my UCT supervisor.
My PhD subjects are the African Reed Warbler Acrocephalus baeticatus and the Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea. I will be using state-space formulation and Bayesian statistics to analyse the southern African ringing data of the reed warbler. The focus is on accounting for as many sources of uncertainty as feasible with the latest methodologies and software. I will use adaptive management on the quelea ringing data. The aim is to develop several models (hypotheses) explaining population dynamics and to combine these in an adaptive management framework to enable structured decision making, i.e. how to control the populations of these feathered locusts taking into account constraints like costs and the environmental effects of the control measures.
Jansen, D.Y.M. 2012. Population survey of the common buzzard Buteo buteo on Madeira Island (Portugal). Ardeola 59(1): 145-155.
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