Dissertation title: Ecological and socio-economic effects of industrial oil palm plantations in Southwest Cameroon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACurrent agroindustrial developments in tropical Africa, especially in the context of palm oil, put a high pressure on tropical landscapes. Forested land, outside of protected areas and valuable for agriculture, is threatened to habitat conversion. These landscapes are mostly dominated by agroforestry systems which are characterized by social and ecological complexities. In tropical Africa, however, they are poorly studied.

The project aims to assess the values of and the linkage between biodiversity and socio-economy in agroforestry systems and oil palm plantations in a region that is at great risk to be converted to industrial oil palm plantations soon. The project area is located in Southwest Cameroon within the important biodiversity hotspot of the Gulf of Guinea forests and contains mainly small villages, whose inhabitants are smallholders relying on cash-crop and subsidence agriculture embedded into the forested region.

 

Research interests

tropical ecology, land use change, wildlife conservation, biodiversity values, agroforestry matrices

 

CV

Since 2013: Doctoral studies in ‘Biodiversity and Ecology’, Georg-August University, Göttingen

Since 2014: Bachelor studies (B.A.) in ‘Political science, administrative studies and Sociology’, Fernuniversität Hagen

Since 2012: Research assistant, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Dept. Conservation Biology

2011-2012: Landscape planner,‘Wette & Gödecke’ Landscape planning, Göttingen

2009-2011: Master of Science in ‘Biodiversity and Ecology’; Georg-August University, Göttingen; Thesis: Comparison in prey search and capture success of Saguinus fuscicollis between primary and secondary forest

2003-2009: Diplom-Ingenieur (FH) in ‘Landscape Planning’, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Bernburg, Thesis: Distribution of invasive prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) with special regard to Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) at the Soutpansberg, South Africa

 

Publications

Academic

Kupsch D, Waltert M & Heymann EW (2014). Forest type affects foraging of saddleback tamarins, Saguinus nigrifrons. Primates 55:403-413. DOI 10.1007/s10329-014-0416-4

Others

Kupsch D, Bobo KS & Waltert M (2014). Biodiversity, carbon stock and market value assessment for the SGSOC project area, Southwest region, Cameroon. Consultancy report for WWF Germany and Greenpeace International. Göttingen, Germany.

 

Contributions to conferences

Kupsch D, Bobo KS & Waltert M (2015). Evaluating wildlife conservation strategies in West African rainforests. Oral presentation. 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Montpellier, August 2.-6.

Vendras E, Kupsch D, Batáry P & Waltert M (2015). Along a gradient from forest to oil palm plantation: influence of habitat modification on afrotropical birds. Poster presentation. 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology. Montpellier, August 2.-6.

Kupsch D, Bobo KS & Waltert M (2014). Biodiversity value of agroforestry systems threatened to oil palm conversion in Southwest Cameroon. Poster presentation. 44th Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Hildesheim, September 08.-12.

Kupsch D & Waltert M (2013). Recent oil palm development in Southwest Cameroon – a new thread to biodiversity and rural agroforestry systems. Poster presentation. 43rd Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Potsdam, September 09.-13.

Kupsch D, Waltert M & Heymann EW (2013). Do secondary forests serve as suitable prey foraging habitats for saddleback tamarins (Saguinus nigrifrons)? Oral presentation. 43rd Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Potsdam, September 09.-13.

Kupsch D, Bobo KS, Linder J & Waltert M (2013). Oil palm development jeopardizes exceptional biodiversity and rural agroforestry systems in Southwest Cameroon. Oral presentation. Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology. Vienna, April 02.-05.

Kupsch D, Waltert M & Heymann EW (2013). Forest type affects prey foraging of saddleback tamarins Saguinus nigrifrons. Oral presentation. Annual Conference of the Society for Tropical Ecology. Vienna, April 02.-05.

Kupsch D & Waltert M (2012). Oil palm development jeopardizes exceptional biodiversity and rural agroforestry systems in Southwest Cameroon. Poster presentation. International Conference on Biodiversity and Society. Göttingen, November 14.-16.

 

Teaching and supervision

Supervision of several M.Sc. theses in the fields of biodiversity and ecology, international nature conservation and geography, e.g. on biodiversity and land use, wildlife assessments, gender based livelihood analysis

Lectures on International Nature Conservation, Winter Semester 2013/14, Georg-August University Göttingen

Student Excursion Wildlife Conservation in Korup National Park, Cameroon, Summer Semester2014, Georg-August University Göttingen.

Lectures on International Nature Conservation, Winter Semester 2014/15, Georg-August University Göttingen.

 

Contact

dkupsch [-a-t-] gwdg.de

+49-(0)551-395636

Workgroup ‘Endangered Species Conservation

Bürgerstraße 50, 37073 Göttingen, Germany