Bull Elephant Network Project
My current project is funded by my Society in Science - Branco Weiss Fellowship, NRF-DST Fellowship and the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund and facilitated by my Drapers' Company Junior Research Fellowship. Lab work is taking place at the NERC Bimolecular Analysis Facility in Sheffield, funded by my NBAF grant.
The main parts of the project are:
Measuring tusk size, age and body size from photographs
Analysing and modelling male elephant social networks
Analysing population genetics and individual relatedness of the population
Recording and analysing vocalisations
This work has been undertaken since 2015.
Dr. Hannah S. Mumby - Principal Investigator
Having conducted research on long-lived mammals for almost ten years and focused my efforts on elephants for over six, I'm very fortunate to be leading the project.
Derek Murphy - Postdoctoral Research Associate
Derek joined the team in May 2017 as a postdoctoral research assistant. With a background in studying the social lives of another group of highly-social mammals - primates - Derek is applying the skills he has developed in using social network analysis to study the social relationships among the male elephants.
Ronnie Makukule - Field Assistant
Ronnie grew up in the bush veld area of South Africa. He came to the project from an education and community outreach background. Ronnie collected data on all aspects of the project including identifying elephants and collecting DNA samples. Ronnie has been matching elephant photos to IDs on the database since he was a boy.
Jessica Wilmot - Field Assistant
Jessica joined the project with extensive conservation and wildlife monitoring fieldwork, including stints in Botswana and Namibia. Jessica collected data on all aspects of the project, including recordings and DNA samples. Jessica is South African with a degree in Conservation Ecology from the University of Stellenbosch. She's also bi-lingual in English and Afrikaans.
Teresa Santos - Master's student and now PhD student
Tess completed her Master's degree on Evolutionary and Developmental Biology at the University of Lisbon. She wrote a thesis on the male elephant molecular ecology, co-supervised by Dr Mumby. She has previously participated in molecular ecology projects at the Universities of Sheffield and Aveiro. Tess received an Erasmus scholarship to conduct her Master's lab work with Hannah in the UK. She's now doing her PhD Co-supervised by Hannah at the University of Lisbon.
Dr Michelle Henley - Elephants Alive
Prof Andrew Balmford - University of Cambridge
Prof George Wittemyer - Colorado State University
Dr Deborah Dawson - University of Sheffield
Mélody Busuttil - Université de Neuchâtel
Amy Morris-Drake - Former Research Assistant on communication, now PhD student at the University of Bristol.
Caitlin Black - Former Post-doc employed to measure tusk size, body size and age from photographs, now Post-doc at the University of Zürich.
Christin Winter - Former Field Assistant. Now working in Namibia.