Visiting Researcher from Madagascar


We welcome Eddie Rakatondrasoa for two weeks as he visits DICE to engage in some data analysis relating to a joint Darwin Initiative project on the golden Mantella frog. We asked Eddie about his work and his time at Kent.

Eddie, what do you do in Madagascar?

I work at Madagasikara Voakajy, in Madagasikara. We have a vision to use conservation science and community participation to protect endemic Malagasy species and their habitats. We currently have projects devoted to chameleons, frogs, bats, and baobabs and a number of cross-programme strategies allow these different activities to be integrated.

One of these species is the golden Mantella frog (Mantella aurantiaca). I am a research assistant in a herpetology programme so I work principally with this species.  DICE has been one of our partners on the Mantella conservation project for some years. I undertake the surveys of the population and its habitat and update the status of Mantella sites in the New Protected Areas Mangabe.

What have you come to Kent to do?

I am taking part in the SCCS internship programme which allows me to be based in DICE for a short time.

From November 2014 to March 2015 we used mark-recapture methods of Mantella in Mangabe with the help of a team from  Chester Zoo and a DICE PhD Student. So now I’m at Kent for the statistical analysis of these data. I will be working with Professor Richard Griffiths (principle investigator on the Darwin Initiative grant) and Dr Rachel McCrea (statistician in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and actuarial Science). In addition, I will be making a bibliography, principally on amphibians.

Whilst here I will have sessions with Professor Griffiths and Dr McCrea which will be particularly useful for the verification and arrangement of data collected according to the data analysis and interpretation.

What are the highlights of your time in the UK?

Before my arrival in Kent I visited Chester Zoo, which is a vital part of my internship. In addition I hope to visit London at the weekend. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the DICE field site and undertake some work with reptiles and amphibians.

You can read more about the research project Professor Griffiths is leading in co-ordination with Madagasikara Voakajy by visiting the research project webpage.



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