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Examining climate, land use and population interactions on Africa's mountains

Posted on 17 December 2015

Scientists are to examine the impact of climate change on the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa at a workshop organised by the University of York.

Credit: Dr Rob Marchant - Gamo Highlands of EthiopiaA view across the agricultural landscape in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia

Dr Rob Marchant, from the University’s Environment Department, has secured funding from the Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Fund to organise the event.

The experts will gather in Cape Town next May or June and use existing data and modelling to assess the impact of climate change on sub-Saharan mountain eco-systems, and the people who live in these areas.

 Dr Marchant said: “For some time we have been looking at mountains across East Africa; looking at how people are being impacted on by climate, by changing land use, by changing crop types and the interaction with pests.

“The idea is to scale it up and do state-of-the-art analysis for sub-Saharan Africa on what the changes have been in the last 50 years and what might happen in the next 50.

“Taking historical archive data we then use that to underpin our models of what the future may bring.”

The project involves collaboration with the Universities of Basel, Ghana, and Cape Town.

A total of 15 projects have been awarded funding by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) for projects to begin in early 2016.

The WUN Research Development Fund (RDF) started in 2009 with the aim of investing directly in collaborative research. It provides seed grants to support the establishment of global research projects, enabling them to lay the groundwork for later approaches to national and international funding bodies.

As part of the announcement, the University of York has secured funding for academics from the Biology Department, Centre for Health Economics, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, to work on projects led by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Bristol respectively.

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