Deciphering the ecology, Natural history of African giant pouched rats, Cricetomys ansorgei-Danielle Lee

Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Seminar featuring Danielle Lee, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

“Deciphering the Ecology,  Natural History of African Giant Pouched Rats, Cricetomys Ansorgei”

Though charged with examining the individual behavioral variation in natural populations of African giant pouched rats, Cricetomys ansorgei – apart of a larger interest to improve breeding and training protocols of this fascinating rodent that had proven it could detect long-buried land mines. The research goals included determining if consistent or variable behavioral tendencies were 1) observable in this species and 2) hopefully genetic. Experiencing a variety of pauses and interruptions to research from political, economic and logistical, I came to realize the path to establishing a new model organism is built through the hard work and contributions of indigenous and lay know, ethology and natural history. Then I’ll be discussing the exciting challenges of researching an organism that has been understudied and sharing what science is learning about the biology and behavior giant pouched rats.