Dr Yahkat Barshep

Dr Yahkat Barshep


A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute


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Work and Research

I am a conservation biologist and my research has focused on diagnosing causes of species decline and developing practical solutions to stem or reverse those declines due to global environmental change, I use an integrative approach based on ecology, physiology and behaviour to predict and forecast the flexibility and limitations of organisms respond to environmental change. I also work on ecosystem services, the range of essential services provided by biodiversity which underpins human well-being. My research explores the interplay between ecosystem services (such as fuel wood, forage resources, water, biodiversity, and food production) and livelihoods and well-being amongst the rural poor. More recently, I have become involved with assessing risk from the trade of bushmeat in Nigeria in light of emerging infectious diseases. Consumption of wildlife has been linked to outbreaks of anthrax, Ebola virus and HIV-1, and the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, making it a potentially significant source of emerging zoonotic diseases in humans. My research is aimed at understanding the market drivers and mechanisms by which wildlife products are moved from source to consumer, as well as the risks that improperly processed wildlife meat poses to public health. I am a senior lecturer at the University of Jos, and at the A.P.Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), both in Nigeria, teaching undergraduate courses in Wildlife ecology, conservation, biostatistics and experimental design, evolution, and cell biology. I have been a teaching fellow at the University of Cape Town teaching the courses Numerical skills and statistics and applied statistics. I have also been a visiting lecturer at the University of Liberia and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, teaching courses in Ornithology, biostatistics, and ecology. I have also worked as a consultant for Fauna and Flora International, teaching ecological methods and biostatistics for staff of FFI and the Forestry Development Authority.

Fields Of Expertise

Conservation Biology
Ecosystems services
Public health and zoonoses