Annika Hsi ’23

Major

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Impact of Grazing Regimes on Rangeland Quality and Wildlife and Livestock Use

Presentation Link

View Annika's Presentation

Certificate(s): Applications of Computing

I studied the interaction between zebras and cattle at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. Identifying the effects of cattle on the behavior of plains and Grévy’s zebras during this past summer’s drought can help efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict within the context of climate change. I created heat maps showing the locations and movements of zebras and cattle using the software QGIS. These maps were then given to herders to guide where they moved their cattle. Additionally, I used Wildbook, a software that recognizes individual zebras by their stripes, to process photos and field data. This allowed me to create home ranges for several Grévy’s zebras, which helped us understand differences in their behavior and reactions to cattle. I gained a deeper understanding of zebra behavior — from mating systems to water dependency — and the importance of sustainable livestock ranching. I also gained skills in processing and analyzing large data sets using R code and computer software. This internship gave me an invaluable skill set that will help me as I continue studying ecology and sustainability.



Internship Year

2021

Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation

Organization(s)

Rubenstein Research Group, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University; Mpala Research Centre

Mentor(s)

Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology