CANR graduate student earns research grant

Michigan State University graduate student Arthur Muneza, studying wildlife ecology in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, is one of two recipients of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) African Graduate Student Research Fund.

June 2, 2015

Michigan State University graduate student Arthur Muneza in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania

Michigan State University graduate student Arthur Muneza, studying wildlife ecology in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, is one of two recipients of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) African Graduate Student Research Fund.

 

This award provides Muneza a three-year membership in the ASM as well as $1,500 to support his research. Muenza is currently in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania conducting three months of field research on the prevalence and effects of a skin disease afflicting giraffes. Early reports suggest that this disease might make giraffes more vulnerable to lion attacks, a relationship that Muneza is keen to investigate.

 

“This research project is not only about Arthur earning his master's degree from MSU,” said Robert Montgomery, assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Muneza’s mentor. “It is also about Arthur initiating his career as a conservation leader in Africa. This award from ASM serves as evidence of how quickly Arthur, in just his first year at MSU, has demonstrated his limitless potential.”

 

Muneza is based at a field site on the outskirts of Ruaha National Park, where he is working with national park staff members, researchers from the Ruaha Carnivore Project and surrounding communities to understand this disease.  In addition to his field research, Muneza is also collaborating with the Leiden Conservation Foundation and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation to distribute a survey among giraffe biologists globally to document the spread of this disease throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Muneza is originally from Rwanda and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He is a MasterCard  Foundation Scholar at MSU.

 

“I am really excited about this opportunity,” Muneza said. “This is the result of working with Dr. Montgomery and learning so much from him.

 

“Earning the recognition of my research from the American Society of Mammalogists is a tremendous honor,” Muneza said. “My research project is now being supported in America, Europe and Africa. This places my work in a global context, and I could not be happier.”

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