18.01.2019 - 23:06
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Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Marie-Lyne Després-Einspenner

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Primatology
Deutscher Platz
04103 Leipzig, Germany

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 286
e-mail: marie_despres@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research interests and background

I am a wildlife biologist whose research has focused on primate ecology and nutrition, population dynamics, and conservation. My research interests lie in the influence of habitat, diet, and anthropogenic pressures on the distribution and ecology of African mammals, as well as exploring new ways of integrating this knowledge into conservation decisions.

Current Research

Camera traps as effective monitoring tools for biodiversity conservation

I have been carrying out research in the Primatology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology since 2014. My previous work has focused on documenting the rich biodiversity of Taï National Park (Ivory Coast) via camera trap videos. This involved analyzing camera trap footage of western chimpanzees, validating a new approach to estimate chimpanzee densities from camera trap data, and showing the method to be appropriate for use in great ape monitoring programs across large scales. Still, a large number of questions remained unanswered: what about the effectiveness of camera traps to estimate the densities of other cryptic forest mammals? And how can camera traps be used beyond density estimation? For example, what can they say about inter- and intra-species association patterns? We are currently working on developing new approaches to estimate forest mammal densities via camera traps that can quickly be implemented into conservation plans and management decisions. We are also looking at how camera traps can reveal co-occurrence patterns of African mammals, in order to investigate the influence of biotic interactions on the structure of mammalian communities and the modelling of species distributions.

Habitat fragmentation and conservation of endangered species in Guinea, West Africa

My PhD project aims at evaluating the influence of the structure of the landscape (habitat quality, size, form and degree of connectivity of fragments) on the distribution of mammals in Guinea, West Africa. More specifically, we are using new approaches in landscape connectivity analyses (graph theory, circuit theory) to identify important features of the landscape that drive the abundance of mammal species with various habitat requirements and movement patterns. In this way, this project aims at contributing to the increase in efficiency of biodiversity offsets mechanisms from mining activities in the country, by promoting the protection of a network of high conservation value areas rather than that of several isolated fragments.