Addisu Mekonnen Kassie
My PhD research focuses on the behaviour, ecology and conservation genetics of the little-known, endemic and bamboo specialist Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in the southern Ethiopian Highlands. The study aims to assess the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on the survival of Bale monkeys by comparing their behaviour, ecology and population genetics both in the continuous bamboo forests of the Bale Mountains and fragmented forests of Sidamo Highlands. Specifically, the main objectives of the study are to assess the remaining distribution patterns and develop habitat suitability models, assess the population genetic structure, examine the feeding and nutritional ecology, activity budget, ranging ecology, habitat use and locomotor behaviour of Bale monkeys. This study is imperative to designing effective conservation management strategies focusing on this Vulnerable species and its preferred habitats. In addition, I have been working in collaboration with other researchers on the ecology and conservation biology of the endemic and little-known primates of Ethiopia, including the rare Arsi gelada (Theropithecus gelada arsi), Boutourlini’s blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis boutourlinii), black and white colobus monkeys [Djaffa Mountains Guerezas (Colobus guereza gallarum), Omo River Guerezas (C. g. guereza)] and also De Brazza's monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus) and Hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) as well as other large mammals of Ethiopia.