Patrick Newcombe ’25


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Competition, Coexistence and Carnivores: Intraguild Dynamics of Understudied Mesocarnivores in a Recovering African Savanna

Certificate(s): African Studies, History and the Practice of Diplomacy

I investigated the dynamics of carnivore competition and coexistence in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, a setting of conservation and development. I worked with doctoral candidate Erin Phillips, who’s mentorship granted me incredible experience in experimental design, diverse methods and on-the-ground insights. I conducted a manipulative field experiment to better understand fear-induced responses to a perceived threat. I learned and executed a variety of field methods, including carnivore capture and collaring, remote camera trapping, environmental DNA swabbing, soil sampling and dietary metabarcoding. I also gained exposure to vulture banding and antelope collaring and engaged in many discussions with Pringle Lab members and scientists that enhanced my understanding of ecological dynamics. I visited the forest restoration project, worked closely with the park’s rangers and discussed the park’s conservation and development strategies with staff at all levels of the organization, which gave me insight into challenges, creative solutions and opportunities that emerged over the park’s history. I spent time in the buffer zone and heavily populated parts of Mount Gorongosa, where public-private partnership leverages conservation to alleviate poverty and advance human rights — granting vital lessons in what it means for one African national park to be a “Park for Peace.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


Pringle Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique


Robert Pringle, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Erin Phillips, Ph.D. candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology