Lindsey Hauff, doctoral candidate in Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers-New Brunswick, conducting fieldwork in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.
Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot with approximately 90% endemism, including all lemurs. However, many of these endemic Malagasy species are rapidly declining in the face of unprecedented anthropogenic pressures such as habitat loss and fragmentation, overharvesting, and intensifying severity of climatic events. In addressing this conservation imperative, my research uses molecular and bioinformatic approaches to investigate the evolutionary impacts of anthropogenic disturbance and climate change on sympatric brown lemur species (Eulemur sp.) throughout southern Madagascar.
Utilizing the support of the Rutgers Climate Institute student support fund, I was able to carry out my summer 2023 fieldwork at the Centre ValBio research station, near Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar. During this experience, I conducted various genomic sequencing projects and engaged in numerous enriching international collaborations. Notably, my time at Centre ValBio incorporated laboratory training for three master’s students from the University of Antananarivo: Noa Rasoanaivo, Voary Andriatsarafara, and Beauriche Andriambolaharijaoana. The success of this research trip will continue to prove beneficial to my scholarship as I draw upon the methodological advancements, evolutionary insights, and collaborative network forged during this time. I am very appreciative of the financial award provided by the Rutgers Climate Institute which supported this experience.