"I applied to the University Scholars Program to conduct undergaduate research. The resources provided will help me in the writing of an honors thesis. My goals are to improve my knowledge in the fields of geography, biodiversity and remote sensing while conductiong research. I hope to aquire the scientific and writing skills necessary to publish in the scientific literature. i also hope to develop a network in the scientific and the academic fields."
Human-environment interactions, Biodiversity, Geography Environmental change, and Remote sensing.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Honors Program
- Summa Cum Laude Latin Honors
- Distinguished Student Award with Academic Scholarship
- Golden Key
Hobbies and Interests
- Soccer, tennis, cinema, French and American literature, and traveling.
Prediction of Change in Species Richness around Kibale National Park, Uganda
Biodiversity is declining worldwide because of anthropogenic factors. Conservation of species richness is therefore becoming essential. Natural reserves and national parks are one of the tools to achieve this goal. The ecology of parks and their effectiveness to conserve biodiversity has been well studied. However, species richness in the surrounding of national parks is poorly understood. In East Africa, population growth increases environmental pressure around natural reserves and isolating them, mainly because of conversion of land for agriculture. The assessment of this impact on species richness is now possible thanks to predictive models using remote sensing and topographic variables. In this study, I will look at the change in species richness around Kibale National Park, a mid-latitude forested park in Uganda with a high diversity of primates. Field data will provide ground truth measurement for target groups: woody plants, invertebrates, rodents, and birds. I hypothesise that landscape heterogeneity will be the main driver of change in species richness. Forest fragmentation and land use and land cover change should have a negative impact on species richness. Environmental variables such as the Normalized Differentiated Vegetation Index (NDVI), and land cover classification, will be used for the conception of models to predict species richness. Anticipated results should show a decrease in species richness due to changes in land use and an increase in forest fragmentation. A similar study shows a decrease in tree species and in primate populations.