QU expert contributes to study on conservation of lions

April 08, 2014 - 12:39:20 pm

DOHA: A researcher from Qatar University (QU) joined an international mammalogy panel in a study to contribute in improving the understanding on the origins and conservation of lions.

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences Associate Professor of Animal Ecology, Dr Nobuyuki Yamaguchi joined scientists from universities in Australia, Denmark, France, Sweden, UK, and USA on the study, QU said Wednesday

Scientific journal BMC Evolutionary Biology published the results of the study titled 'Revealing the Maternal Demographic History of Panthera Leo Using Ancient DNA and a Spatially Explicit Genealogical Analysis', early this month.

BBC News webpage, Nature/Environment Section highlighted the study titled 'Modern lions' origins revealed in genetic analysis'.

The study involved the genetic analysis of living lions from Asia and Africa with specimens in museums and collections around the world.

Their findings highlight the possible evolutionary processes of the different subspecies, and suggest that climate and environmental changes likely played important roles in shaping the phylogeography of the modern lion subspecies.

Commenting on the study, Dr Yamaguchi said, "I am extremely pleased to be able to contribute through research to improving our understanding and conservation of the lion, an endangered charismatic species.

"The study results serve to improve our understanding of the intra-specific phylogeography of the lion, which in turn will greatly contribute to its conservation through the provision of useful information for conservation prioritization and meta-population management.

"I am equally pleased if my involvement in this research may contribute to raising the research profile of Qatar University, even if it is in a very small way. I thank the department, the college and QU for their kind support and encouragement."

Dr Yamaguchi's travelled to Morocco, Algeria, India, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa, and many European countries where lion specimens are kept in natural history collections, to research on lions.

Many papers published the study.

In 2008, he participated with researchers from Natural History Museum and Oxford University UK on a study that recorded the first genetic evidence that England's first lions hailed from North Africa.

He is an expert in mammalogy research and has been the mentor on the ongoing hedgehog project conducted by QU biological and environmental students, QU said. (QNA)