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.
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.
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.
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
Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals
Dr Mickler is co-editing the major collaborative book project Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals (Springer, forthcoming 2019) with Prof. Maano Ramutsindela, University of Cape Town. The volume draws upon the expertise and international research collaborations forged through the Worldwide Universities Network’s Global Africa Group to critically engage with the intersection, in theory and practice, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa’s development agendas and needs.
Drawing on analyses and evidence from both the natural and social sciences, the volume demonstrates that progress towards the SDGs must meet demands for improving human wellbeing under diverse and challenging socio-economic, political and environmental conditions. The volume reveals how international collaboration via research networks can enhance the production of critical knowledge on and engagement with the SDGs in Africa.
Physiological performance and spatial patterns of dispersing juvenile ground pangolins in a semi-arid environment
This project investigates the physiological welfare and space use of juvenile ground pangolins at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. It aims to quantify and compare the body temperature, movement patterns, habitat and diet preference of juveniles and compare those data to that of adult pangolins at Tswalu.
While not a widely known animal, pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world and their habitats are under threat from climate change and land use changes. Electrified fencing on game reserves causes mortality and population numbers are decreasing worldwide.