Genomic tools to study the diversity of African cichlid fishes
“I propose to organize a joint kick-starting workshop in Basel, aiming at bringing together our African partners with local scientists and students. The research of my group focuses on two enigmatic species assemblages of cichlid fishes, the exceptionally diverse cichlid species flock in Lake Tanganyika in East Africa and young crater lake cichlid faunas in West Africa. Our main activities in Africa thus involve two priority geographical areas in the framework of the Swiss – (South) African Research Cooperation: Zambia and Cameroon. While our project work in Africa is secured for the next five years through competitive international funding (erc Consolidator Grant ‘CICHLID~X’) and ongoing local collaborations, we continue to face the problem that our African collaborators can so far only be involved in field-collections and – experiments but have no access to even limited training options in genetics and genomics, which are central aspects of our research.
In addition, we would like to integrate them more closely into the planning of future activities in Africa and to develop future joint efforts together. We will try to invite additional European scientists from other institutions, such as the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and open the workshop for other African researchers from the priority areas (however not to the expenses of this proposal), although we would not like to have more than ten external persons to take part in this activity.”
The specific aim of this workshop is to
- provide basic training in modern genetic and genomic tools to African collaborators,
- discuss and plan future (research) activities in Africa, and
- raise awareness among African colleagues for their research in Africa but also for the study system as such.
Prof Walter Salzburger; University of Basel
Arnold Roger, Bitja Nyom, University of Ngaoundere, Department of Biological Sciences
Danny Sinyinza, Department of Fisheries, Republic of Zambia