Savanna Ecology is lucky to feature the work of scientists, naturalists, and casual nature-lovers from all over. This content is managed by...

Patrick Milligan - driver, gardener, bill-payer, dung-sorter, friend to ants and trees

 Collecting specimens of invasive  Pheidole megacephala

Collecting specimens of invasive Pheidole megacephala

In May 2013, looking for some direction in my undergraduate studies, I travelled to Kenya with a University of Florida study abroad group. I convinced somebody that I could conduct fieldwork while also dodging buffalo and elephants, and I've been returning to Laikipia County every year since. Once a lowly "lab rodent", I'm now a PhD student in the UF Department of Biology, studying the ecosystem function consequences of large herbivore extinction and invasive species introduction, among other types of anthropogenic disturbance.

Laikipia is nyumba mbili ("second home") for me, but the real spotlight shines on its more magnificent residents: the endangered Grevy's Zebra, the bizarre whistling-thorn acacia, the fearsome African elephant, the last of the Northern White rhinoceroses, and the Maasai people. As an ecologist, I try to understand how all of my work is related to the many species around us. With that in mind, Savanna Ecology is dedicated to research, conservation, and storytelling. In order to be successful at one, you have to be good at all three.


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