prospective reseachers

Gorongosa is an exciting place for scientific research today. World renowned scientists from across the globe are coming to study Gorongosa’s uniquely diverse wildlife, plants, and ecosystem.

Prospective Researchers

Gorongosa is an exciting place for scientific research today. World renowned scientists from across the globe are coming to study Gorongosa’s uniquely diverse wildlife, plants, and ecosystem.

We encourage research in a variety of disciplines.  Due to its native biodiversity, its diverse habitat types, the dynamics of its recovering wildlife populations, and its complex human history, Gorongosa National Park offers unique opportunities for biological, ecological, hydrological, and social research.

Here you can find a flowchart that describes the process of applying to do research at the Park, and the correct people to get in touch with;

 Application Flowchart

Please read our Gorongosa Research Background and Opportunities 2018 for more detailed information, and for researchers that are applying, the first step is to submit a short proposal that contains the Title of the Project, Name(s) of the Researcher(s), Institutional Affiliation, Objectives, Methodology, Time Frame and Expected Outcomes.  This proposal should be submitted to the Director of Scientific Services, Dr. Marc Stalmans: stalmans@gorongosa.net

Once your research proposal is accepted, please download and fill in the following documents and email to Research Manager, Jason Denlinger: jason.denlinger@gorongosa.net
 

 Research Guidelines and Emergency Contact Information

 Release Waiver

Also, please read the following Welcome Documents to help you prepare for your time at the Park. 

 – Researcher Welcome and useful information for travelling to Gorongosa National Park

While encouraging all fields of research, the following are of particular management and/or academic interest:

  • The balance of large herbivores has changed from pre-war conditions with species such as waterbuck and warthog having a larger relative (and possibly absolute) contribution to overall biomass. Will other species be able to increase back to historical levels or will current numbers and ratio of waterbuck inhibit such change?
  • Is the grazing succession being gradually re-established with the increase in buffalo numbers? Is this a patch phenomenon (grazing lawns) and at what scale is it happening? Can the spatial restoration of the grazing succession be modeled across the Park?
  • How has the decline in herbivore numbers impacted primary productivity and ensuing wildfires? Are timing, extent, intensity and spatial pattern of wildfires different from those under higher herbivore numbers? Has this impacted negatively or positively on woody regeneration and growth?
  • Elephant numbers were drastically reduced from the original 2,500 animals. Currently the elephant population appears to be recovering well with an estimated 500 elephants in the Park. Many other Parks where there is currently debate about the ‘elephant problem’, did not have monitoring systems in place to assess their true impact on biodiversity. What monitoring systems can be set up in Gorongosa to track vegetation and biodiversity changes as the elephant population increases?
  • What are the impacts of hippo from a grazing, fertilizing and mechanical perspective (e.g. channels in the aquatic systems and paths on land)? How has this changed since the decline in hippo numbers? Should additional hippo be introduced?
  • What was the ‘historical’ extent of rainforest on Mount Gorongosa? Can soil patterns, rain shadow and fire shadow extent and relict forest trees in conjunction with habitat information be used to model past forest cover?
  • What is / could be the role of riparian corridors between Mount Gorongosa and Gorongosa Park? Should such corridors be reestablished, and in what manner, to mitigate the effects of climate change?
  • Can fine-scale topographical information (LIDAR) be used to model floodplain dynamics at both a fine and intermediate scale to better understand desiccation of portions of the floodplain through accelerated erosion, tree invasion, etc.?
  • How are changing land use patterns outside the Park, and the loss of grazing areas that were historically available to wildlife, impacting upon seasonal distribution patterns, resulting in forage bottlenecks and overall limiting wildlife numbers in the Park? What connections / dispersal areas should be restored and/or maintained.
  • How are changing patterns of land use and increased water abstraction outside of the park affecting the flooding regime of the Gorongosa valley?
  • The alien invasive plant, Mimosa pigra, has long been present in the Park, but seems to have been kept in check by the high number of herbivores. What is the impact of changed numbers and ratios of herbivore species on Mimosa pigra? Will recovering wildlife populations control Mimosa pigra or has the species become more widespread and too well established to be controlled even by high number of browsing animals?
  • Understanding and modeling fodder flows (both in terms of quantity and nutritional quality for herbivores) in relation to rainfall, pulse-flooding, fire and herbivory.  

 

For anyone interested in undertaking research in Gorongosa National Park, please send an e-mail to science (at) gorongosa.net. Please provide us with a short outline of who you are, what your objectives are, and what you would like to do in the park. We will talk to you about your project idea and assist you with developing a formal project proposal in order for you to secure a research permit.

 

Applicants should be mindful that research in Gorongosa that deals with animal and plant specimens and/or diseases might require special treatment (legally and ethically). Researchers should allow time for us to work with you on your proposal ideas and may be asked to schedule their research according to other work being conducted in the park. This could mean that a researcher is only allowed to conduct their research several months after they apply for a research permit. Please make special note of this if your research is time-sensitive or seasonal.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Advance an integrated multi-partner approach to conservation and to people-centred development. The Gorongosa Project protects the Park’s biodiversity and ecosystem services and unlocks its economic potential for the community inhabitants of the Gorongosa Buffer Zone, Sofala Province, Mozambique and further afield.

Our Vision

A thriving, biodiversity-rich, Greater Gorongosa conservation landscape, which supports Sofala Province as an engine for resilient and sustainable development enabling nature experiences and wellbeing for its people, enriching all of Mozambique and the world.

A Park for Peace

On 1 August, 2019 a historic ceremony was held in Gorongosa to celebrate the Cessation of Hostilities Accord between the leaders of the Government of Mozambique and the opposition Renamo Party. The accord established Gorongosa National Park (GNP) as a ‘Park for Peace’, delivering human development to the communities that share the greater landscape.