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Joana Borges

I am a PhD student at the Rowntree lab, studying the eastern black rhino population in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), specifically the drivers behind its low numbers. I am investigating black rhino feeding ecology by determining the diet composition and if there is evidence of plant preference. I am also looking at the long-term vegetation changes from the 1980s until today, using remote sensing data from several satellites. Additionally, I am also studying the genetic diversity of the rhino population in the NCA which hasn’t been investigated before. I will be determining the paternity between individuals as well as measuring the inbreeding levels which are suspected to be high.

Previously, I have studied the feeding ecology of giraffes in Loskop Dam nature reserve in South Africa to understand if giraffes have a preference for certain species of trees or bushes or if they feed on what is available. After my MSc I moved to South Africa to work as a primate carer in a vervet monkey sanctuary where I was responsible for the monkey integrations into troops, as well as training and coordinating volunteers.

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