Biology major Janae Hadley will be traveling to the University of Cape Town’s Cape Peninsula Baboon Research Unit (BRU) in Africa on June 13th. Hadley will be spending three weeks in the Table Mountains following the trail of a troop of wild Chacma Baboons through the hills of the Cape of Good Hope.
A research trip like this does not run cheap. While Hadley’s in-country costs will be covered by a grant, the expensive international airfare was not included. Fortunately, Hadley will be receiving financial assistance from both the School of Health and Science and the Student Scholarly and Creative Special Projects grant for the cost of airfare.
After a visit to Kenya last semester, Hadley became captivated with Africa’s diverse wildlife and contacted the BRU about possible research opportunities. Hadley hopes to become a valuable member of the Matthew Lewis Research (MLR) team, which through extensive research could help expand and strengthen the protection of endangered and threatened species. “It is imperative that the behavior of this species be properly documented so that this information can aid management in effectively conserving these fascinating animals. Being able to be a part of a project that could, in the future, save an entire species would be amazing to me,” Hadley said.
This detailed research will include the collection of thorough behavioral data and samples for analysis.
The mission of the MLR unit is to study Chacma Baboons and determine whether the availability of high quality food resources does, in fact, have an impact on their diet. Furthermore, the aim of collecting data is to study and investigate the activity budgets and dietary ecology of a free-ranging Peninsula baboon troop.
“I hope to gain experience in the field I want to go into, and what better way than to go to Africa in the wilderness and dive right in!” Hadley said. Hadley hopes to pursue a master’s degree at Moi University in Africa studying African Wildlife Ecology.