Dan Maselli, 2011, Molecular Biology

The Grevy’s Zebra project is a branch of the African Wildlife Foundation that aims to study Grevy’s zebra population dynamics in order to better understand how to protect them. Currently, there are around 2,000 Grevy’s zebras remaining in Kenya, a drastic 88% drop in population from three decades ago. Dr. Paul Muoria, a Kenyan biologist heading the investigation, and his team of researchers are working together with local people of the Samburu region to determine the reasons of this stark decline in numbers, whether that be from anthrax infection, over-predation, or human-wildlife conflict. And because many Grevy’s zebras migrate on lands that Kenyans now use for agriculture, the human-wildlife conflict is a particularly sensative issue; Dr. Muoria, through his research, hopes to strike a balance between eco-friendly conservationism and the Kenyan drive towards self-sufficiency and economic development through agriculture and farming.