Groundbreaking research extending beyond borders

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Alice-Ntuthuzelo Makhasi, a Masters student with the Zoology Department will be visiting the Zimbabwe National Museum to broaden his research data on "diversity of primates,  their ecology, morphology, taxonomy and phylogenetics of Samango monkey species" which is a novel topic in his field of study.The student is supervised by Professor Judith Masters, a recognized researcher who is the grant holder for the project. This groundbreaking study,primarily funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) is part of an international research project in which the University of Fort Hare is collaborating with the University of Palermo,Sicily in Italy.

The 27 year old who hails from East London, joined Fort Hare in 2006 as Bachelor of Science student at Alice Campus. He is a member of the Primate Ecology & Genetics Group of South Africa, a newly established research body, based at the University Of Fort Hare.  "I feel honored as a young black man to be part of this international research and I hope it serves as motivation to other young people" said Ntuthuzelo.Hopefully,this study will put the university up with other leading institutions in terms of research by having a paper published in an international peer-reviewed journal.

Samango monkeys, the main focus of his research, are a rare species in South Africa, with one of its sub-species being endangered,thus making them scarce in local museum collections. They are common further north of South Africa, and other parts of East and Central Africa. The National Museum of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo has a wide collection of southern african mammals, thus making his visit to Zimbabwe worthwhile. He will be in Bulawayo for two weeks and we wish him well during his trip.

by Unathi Jaza