Mattia Bessone

Doctoral Student
Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies
Research Group Fruth

Main Focus

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are endangered apes, with data on population status lacking from 70% of the species’ geographical range. In my research, I make use of a database including data collected by several partners in Salonga National Park to model bonobo abundance and distribution over two periods of time, evaluating population trend and the drivers affecting it. I use novel field and analytical methods, such as Camera Trap Distance Sampling and Integrated Population Models.

Integrating data from different sources, I evaluate caveats in traditional and modern methods. Investigating the factors affecting the viability of remnant populations, allow me to provide recommendations for the improvement of bonobo conservation.

Although bonobos are my focus, I am equally interested in the ecology and viability of other sympatric species, such as non-human primates, ungulates, and carnivores. In the future, I aim to exploit the expertise obtained during my postgraduate studies to investigate how traditional and commercial hunting affect the ecology and behaviour of the diverse duiker (Cephalophus spp.) community in the Congo basin.

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