Caleb B. Ofori

calebofori@gmail.com
caleb.ofori

 

I was born and raised in a national park in Ghana, West Africa. Some of my best moments as a child, were the times I spent in the dust and dirt of the savannahs’ chasing baboons. Even today the beauty of 1000s of antelopes flooding the plains of the Mole National Park intrigues me. When I grew up, I came to the realization that one of the easiest thing for me to do was to pursue a career in nature conservation.

 

Although I have broad interest in wildlife and nature conservation my current research revolves around amphibian conservation research. In 2006, I became aware for the first time of the mass extinction of amphibians. I immediately decided I wanted a place in the frontline in the fight against their extinction and it didn’t take long to crazily fall in love with these species. 

I am horrified by extinction! As a young boy of 7-years old, my only friend and hero was my father who was then a park warden. Unfortunately he passed on mysteriously on the job at a very early age. As a small boy at the time, I couldn’t understand death, I always waited somewhat fruitlessly for his return. Of course, that never happened. Now when I think about extinction, I think about losing a love one (like my heroic father) with no possibility of ever having him back. 

calebAlthough I have broad interest in wildlife and nature conservation my current research revolves around amphibian conservation research. In 2006, I became aware for the first time of the mass extinction of amphibians. I immediately decided I wanted a place in the frontline in the fight against their extinction and it didn’t take long to crazily fall in love with these species. 

I am horrified by extinction! As a young boy of 7-years old, my only friend and hero was my father who was then a park warden. Unfortunately he passed on mysteriously on the job at a very early age. As a small boy at the time, I couldn’t understand death, I always waited somewhat fruitlessly for his return. Of course, that never happened. Now when I think about extinction, I think about losing a love one (like my heroic father) with no possibility of ever having him back. 

 

During the weeks that I will be with the ICCS team, I plan to begin and complete at least one manuscript. Specifically, I will like to prepare one ecological manuscripts on Ghanaian frogs. The first paper outlines the first detailed ecological knowledge and population status of an evolutionary distinct and globally endangered frog in Ghana. The species (Conraua derooi) was recently discovered after nearly 40-years of believed extinction and currently at the verge of extirpation because of local exploitation of its meat as food. I have already collected all the data needed as part of previous grants (IFS and ZSL EDGE Fellowship and CLP). At the ICCS, I hope to include one more ecological analyses (Niche modelling) and complete the write-up.

In addition to the above subject and of course depending on the progress I make on the above manuscript, I will consider putting some initial thoughts into a paper on the role of religion in conservation practice in Africa. It is my opinion that the possible influence of religion in conservation has so far been underrated. In Ghana, traditional religious practices was a key determinant of conservation practice centuries ago. For instance, there were religious rules that controlled over hunting, deforestation and unsustainable use of river catchments. In recent times however, due to the advent of other religions in Africa particularly Christianity and Islam, most of these traditional religions and associated conservation laws have been undermined to the detriment of biodiversity conservation. During, my stay in Oxford I want to formally introduce the concept of conservation Evangelism to the scientific community. Conservation evangelism is an approach I have pioneered in Ghana to incorporate conservation in Christianity and Islam. It is my hope that this will open up the subject to the scientific community for rigorous assessment in different regions of the world. 

Finally, and most importantly, I will like to use my stay in Oxford to interact with the ICCS team to look at possibilities of incorporating some of their interdisciplinary research tools in my conservation research project in Ghana. I am truly fascinated by the research that is being done by the ICCS group.

 

Future for Nature Award in 2014


Future Leader of Amphibian Conservation Award in 2016

 

 

Caleb