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Researchers study links between conflict and fisheries in East Africa
Date:11/19/2012

Dr. Sarah Glaser, a visiting professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has received a two-year, $243,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue her study of the links between armed conflict and fishery resources in East Africa's Lake Victoria basin.

Glaser, who has a dual appointment in the Department of Fishery Science at VIMS and the Department of Biology at William and Mary, will team on the project with W&M's Cullen Hendrix, an assistant professor of international relations; Leslie Kaufman of Boston University, an expert in the ecology of Lake Victoria's fishes; and several W&M undergraduate and graduate students.

The goal of the project is to better understand and quantify the complex interactions between human conflict and natural systems in the Lake Victoria region. "Conflict impacts food security, income, and the population dynamics of harvested species," says Glaser, "but knowledge of these impacts has been missing from ecological models and management tools. Our project will help regional fisheries organizations better manage and sustain the lake's aquatic resources, which are a critical source of protein for local inhabitants and a key source of income through exports to Europe."

The project includes a unique partnership with colleagues in Uganda to help establish a Geographic Information Systems center that had been identified as a pressing need by scientists in the country's National Fisheries Resources Research Institute. Center partners will place fisheries data into a geographic context, thus facilitating comparisons with existing conflict data and maps developed by the Uppsala Conflict Data Project, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset, and the Social Conflict in Africa Database.

Lake Victoria, the world's second-largest body of freshwater, lies in East Africa at the intersection of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, with its watershed extending into Rwanda, Burundi, and the De
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Contact: David Malmquist
davem@vims.edu
804-684-7011
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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