Staff directory

Mercy Ashepet

Information
Mercy Ashepet
Department: Biology
Division: Invertebrates
Email: mercy.ashepet@africamuseum.be
Education

01/10/2019-present

PhD
Royal Museum for Central Africa
KU Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Division of Bioeconomics

PhD tittle: The potential for Citizen science in reducing natural disasters and vector-borne diseases in Uganda


12/10/2016-15/09/2018

Master of Science in Biology-specialization Human Ecology. Great distinction.
Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Brussels (Belgium)

MSc. Thesis: Dynamics of Human-Crocodile conflicts around Murchison Falls Conservation Area, Uganda


01/08/2011-30/05/2014

Bachelor of Biological Science
Makerere University, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries, Kampala (Uganda)
Botany, Zoology (major)

BSc. Thesis: prevalence of helminth parasites in cattle slaughtered at the city abattoir, Kampala.


TRAININGS AND FIELDWORK

- 15/10/2018-19/10/2018 - Summer school: Citizen Science in Theory and Practice
Vienna Doctoral School and University of Vienna, Grünau im Almtal

- 31/10/2017–13/02/2018 - Introduction to Resilience for Development MOOC - Part 1 and 2
Online

- 26/06/2016–26/07/2016 - Tropical Biology Association field course
Kibale National Park, Fort Portal (Uganda)

- 30/05/2013–15/07/2013
Intern attached to the National Livestock Resources Research Institute, Tororo (Uganda)

Research

I am a PhD student with a strong background, knowledge and skills in introductory, field and applied Biological disciplines and human-environment interactions. As a young biologist from a developing country with many conflicting needs of development, conservation and human well-being, my interests lie in understanding participatory approaches that can be used to best address such societal concerns and balance all sides of the ‘scale’. This drew my attention to research approaches like citizen science whose potential in Africa I am currently exploring.


- 01/10/2019-present
Evaluating the citizen science networks that have been set up in Uganda by two international collaborative projects (ATAP and HARISSA) of the Royal Museum for Central Africa. The two projects are using CS to gather data on Vector-borne diseases, specifically Schistomiasis, (ATRAP) and natural hazards (HARISSA). Evaluation will reflect on aspects of motivation and behavior of the participants, data quality and quantity and policy assimilation. Performance indicators that can be used to assess (non-)success of the citizen science networks will be identified. This information will provide generic insights on how to improve the capacity of citizen science networks.

- 02/2019-09/2019
Literature search for CS in Africa and its potential for vector-borne disease research.

- 11/2018-02/2019
Detecting infection in schistosome snails using PCR approaches.

- 10/2017-06/2018
Determining the genetic structure of Cyperus papyrus in Lake Victoria (Uganda) using multiplex PCR and microsatellites.

- 07/2017- 09/2017
Using participatory methodological approaches to support conservation and management of Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

- 07/2013-03/2014
Surveying Nile crocodiles and other reptiles along the Nile/Nile Delta Ramsar site in Murchison Falls National Park.

- 12/2013-02/2014
Detecting nematode eggs in fecal samples collected from cows slaughtered in the city abattoir in Kampala using the McMaster technique.