African large carnivore population and biodiversity assessments

  • The Trans-Kalahari Predator Programme (TKPP, is a research and conservation project based in the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (Department of Zoology). TKPP has undertaken over 25 biodiversity surveys using camera traps across 30 protected area sites in Botswana and Zimbabwe covering approximately 25,000km2. This research aims to understand spatial, ecological and anthropogenic drivers of large predator populations across this landscape with a view to contributing critical baseline data to conservation decision making and policy. Surveys have generated a dataset of ~ 1.2 million images of African species. With a focus on the large predators (lion, leopard, spotted hyaena, cheetah and wild-dog), successful Summer Research Experience Placements will work with the project scientists to collate and analyse a subset of these data, including learning methods and techniques for individual identification of animals (potentially using AI/ machine learning interfaces that are currently being developed), application of analytical tools for estimating population density and species occurrence, with opportunities for co-authorship on publications generated from these analyses if appropriate.



  • Pre-requisites. Interest in African ecology and biodiversity conservation. Familiarity with (or willingness to learn) R and GIS. Use of suitable laptop and access to an internet connection.


  • Capacity to take on two students for this work

If interested, please contact