Biodiversity Fellow

Divin Malekani


I'm passionate about discovering biodiversity. Wildlife has been one of my favourite things to observe since I was very young. I studied biological sciences and obtained a degree in animal ecology. I have skills and experience in taxonomic inventories and vertebrate monitoring. I also have experience of studying the behaviour of wild animals and zoosociology in tropical forests, as well as the response to zoonotic diseases. These days, I'm developing my skills in reducing bushmeat consumption in cities and stepping up the fight against poaching in protected areas. Today, I have the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to efforts to conserve and preserve biodiversity.

Research Interests

My area of research is animal ecology. And I focus most of my research on nature conservation, contributing to the sustainable management of the exploitation of biodiversity resources.

Current Research

I’m currently researching the online sale of bushmeat on Facebook. The bushmeat trade is becoming increasingly widespread as modernisation progresses. Many species of wild animals are involved in this online trade, and this is a new challenge for conservationists around the world.

Brief CV

2018 – Present: First Mandate Teaching Assistant, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa/DRC.

From 2018 to date, Teaching Assistant at the University of Kinshasa, to ensure practical work and supervision of research activities in the field of Biology in Ecoethology, Parasitology, Zoosociology, Ornithology. Ecological field activities are organised in the different forest islands of the city with the undergraduate students to put into practice the notions learnt during the courses by the teachers.

2017 – Present: Researcher, Ngo Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Kinshasa/DRC.

From 2017 to present. Research Assistant at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to conduct research activities for the Bushmeat Urban Project in Kinshasa and Brazzaville, which consists of reducing bushmeat consumption in the two urban cities. The activities carried out are the following: carrying out socio-economic surveys (with the Kobocollect tool) on bushmeat consumption in restaurants, markets, households; managing focus groups and individual interviews; participating in the activities of the campaign to reduce bushmeat consumption in the city; carrying out surveys on the evaluation study of the campaign.

2015 – 2017: Research Assistant, Monkeypox / DRC project, Kinshasa/DRC.

From 2015 to 2017, Research Assistant at the Monkeypox Project, for the ecological study of the viral reservoir, the Monkeypox virus, in the endemic area of Tshuapa province. Field activities carried out: Capture (using different traps and methods) of wild animals in order to collect organ samples for laboratory rt-PCR analysis; Use of the KoboCollect tool for the investigation of health structures (hospital, health center, health post, dispensary) in the village’s endemic for Monkeypox disease. Participation in the vaccination study against monkeypox in the Tshuapa Province.


2021 – 2023       Master’s student at University of Kinshasa            Kinshasa, DRC

Master’s Student of Science, option: Animal ecology, Department of Biology. Thesis subject: Commercialization of wild meat in restaurants in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

2013 – 2014       Bachelor of Science at University of Kinshasa       Kinshasa, DRC

Bachelor of Science, option: Animal ecology, Department of Biology. Thesis subject: Contribution to the study of the reservoir of the monkey pox virus in the Tshuapa District, Equateur Province.

2010 – 2012       Undergraduate degree at University of Kinshasa

Kinshasa, DRC

Undergraduate degree in Science, Department of Biology. Thesis subject: Systematic inventory of rodents at the N’Djili-Brasseries site located between the municipalities of N’Sele and Mont-Ngafula in Kinshasa.



2021, The Aspire Grant Program, Conservation Action Research Network (CARN) : 4650 $. Research title: Impact of the Coronavirus epidemic on the marketing and consumption of targeted wild animal species in households, restaurants and markets in the city of Kinshasa, DRC.


Wright, J. H., Malekani, D., Funk, S. M., Ntshila, J., Mayet, L., Mwinyihali, R., Fa, J. E., & Wieland, M. (2022). Profiling the types of restaurants that sell wild meat in Central African cities. African Journal of Ecology, 00, 1–8.

Fa, J., Wright H.J., MFunk S., Márquez A.L., Olivero, J., Farfán, M.A., Guio, F., Mayet, L., Malekani, D., Louzolo, C.H., Mwinyihali, R., Wilkie, D.S., Wieland, M., 2019. Mapping the availability of bushmeat for consumption in Central African cities. Environ. Res. Lett. 14 (2019) 094002.

Doty, B.J., Malekani, M.J., Kalemba, N.L., Stanley, T.W., Monroe, P.B., Nakazawa, U.Y., Mauldin, R.M., Bakambana, L.T., Liyandja, T.D.L, Braden, H.Z., Wallace, M. R., Malekani, V.D., McCollum, M.A., Gallardo-Romero, N., Kondas, A., Peterson, T.A., Osorio, E.J., Rocke, E.T., Karem, L.K., Emerson, L.G., and Darin C.S. (2017). Assessing Monkeypox Virus Prevalence in Small Mammals at the Human–Animal Interface in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Viruses 2017, 9, 283; doi:10.3390/v9100283.

Kisasa, K.R., Bansomire, C., Malekani, D. (2020). Ectoparasites (Phthiraptera) de quelques oiseaux de la ville de Kinshasa. Malimbus 42.

Ngbolua, K.T.N.J.P., Molongo, M.M., Basosila, B.N., Malekani, D., Falanga, M.C., Ndaba, M.M., Moke, L.E., Masengo, A.C., Amogu, D.O., Djolu, D.R., Libwa, M.B.T., Muwuyo, B.Y. (2020). Survey on the Movements and migration corridors of Loxodonta africana cyclotis (Proboscidea: Mammalia) in the Monzo Forest of Bosobolo Territory (Nord-Ubangi Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo). J. of Advanced Botany and Zoology, V8I1.01. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3906350.