Masters degree for Boyce-Zero Scholarship student
3 July 2012
Mphoeng Ofithile, the first Boyce-Zero Scholarship student, has gained his Masters degree at the University of Bristol.
The Boyce-Zero Scholarship programme was started by elephant conservation charity Elephants For Africa (EfA). It was set up in memory of two conservationists who worked tirelessly to conserve Botswana’s wildlife. The scholarship is aimed at local conservationists to help them develop their career.
Mphoeng joined EfA in 2008 and developed his Masters plan after learning the ropes and determining what area of research would be of most interest to him. The University of Bristol Alumni Fund funded his attendance at his first international conference, the International Elephant Foundation conference in Pretoria in 2010, where he presented a poster of his work.
Mphoeng’s Masters looked at the effects of season on male elephant ecology and sociality and in particular the effect of the large floods the Okavango has experienced in the past few years. The western Okavango Delta was always considered a male area, but in recent times this has changed, with more females moving in and the males moving elsewhere. Mphoeng’s findings throw light on how elephants adapt to changing environments and the possible effects of climate change on elephant conservation. He is a key member of the EfA team and on his return to Botswana will lead a project on the Boteti River.
EfA is a registered charity in England and Wales dedicated to elephant conservation through research and education. Officially registered in 2007, the charity has grown from the success of a research project established by Dr Kate Evans, a Research Associate in the School of Biological Sciences, in the Okavango Delta in 2002.
EfA conducts a broad range of scientific research projects that aim to address the fundamental conservation issues facing the African elephant, both in the wild and in captivity. It also supports educational initiatives designed to enable people to live in harmony with wildlife.
For more information, please contact Dr Kate Evans, Founder and Director of Research & Education.