The Centre works with multiple industries and research areas including agriculture, mining, geology, law, public policy, political science and international relations, international development, environmental science, engineering, archaeology and heritage, population health, anthropology and sociology, biological science, history and economics. Please see the AfREC Africa Research Handbook 2019 and UWA African Studies Resources.

Our Research

West African Exploration Initiative (WAXI)

The West African Exploration Initiative (WAXI) is an ambitious research and training program focused on the mineral potential of the West African Craton. This Initiative, which commenced in November 2006, is principally funded by the international Mining Industry and the Australian Government (AusAID & ARC), via an AMIRA International consortium.

The overall aim of West Africa Exploration Initiative is to enhance the exploration potential of the West African Craton through an integrated program of research and data gathering into its “anatomy’, and to augment the capacity of local institutions to undertake this form of work.  The capacity building activities for Stage 2 were completely underwritten by AusAID (the Australian Agency for International Development). The initiative covers the whole of the Leo-Man Shield and its immediate surrounds, and includes the following countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo.

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The Behavioural Ecology of Chimpanzees in Rwanda

Chimpanzees have been the subject of long-term studies at several sites in Africa, but significant gaps in our knowledge persist despite intense research efforts. Studies at additional sites are thus needed to understand the full range of adaptability in this species and to develop sound recommendations on how to best protect and manage the remaining populations of this endangered species.

The chimpanzee population at Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda is singular in that it persists in a relatively marginal high-altitude environment with unique ecological challenges. One overarching goal of our research is to elucidate how chimpanzees adapt to an unusual montane environment. This research can help to estimate to what extent behavioural and possibly cultural changes contribute to adaptations of an animal population to different environmental conditions. The findings of this study will contribute to an understanding of the effects of extreme environments on behavioural and ecological strategies in group-living animals.

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PhD Research Fellow


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PhD Research Fellow



AAUN Workshop: New Plant Breeding Methods

​This workshop aimed to evaluate new methods for sustainable genetic improvement in important food crops for AAUN partner countries.  New animal breeding methods, such as optimal contributions selection and genomic selection, may enhance long‐term crop improvement based on genetic diversity from crop genebanks and elite crop varieties.  


The workshop evaluates the ability of the new methods to improve adaptation of crops to changing climates, and thereby improve future food security.

The keynote speaker was Emeritus Professor Brian Kinghorn, University of New England, Australia.  Also speaking were plant breeders and geneticists from The University of Western Australia, The University of Sydney and other AAUN‐partner universities