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Visiting Ugandan scientist shares mountain gorilla sustainability research

Prominent Ugandan scientist, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, will present "Conservation Through Public Health: At the Crossroads of Community Development and Conservation" at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, at Irvine Hall 194.

Uganda's first female wildlife veterinary officer, Kalema-Zikusoka works with Conservation Through Public Health, a grassroots non-profit organization that focuses on conserving the natural habitat of mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindo Impenetrable National Park. 

During her talk, she will discuss her organization's latest efforts during its 10th anniversary this year.

The park, home to one of the most densely populated rural areas in the country, annually attracts thousands of tourists seeking a view of its rich biodiversity and mountain gorillas. However, the growing population of humans in the area poses a danger for the gorillas – the resulting pressure on natural resources pushes the communities toward the gorilla habitat.

In order to control threats and sustain wildlife, Kalema-Zikusoka and her team work to sustainably improve the quality of life for these communities. The organization monitors diseases that threaten gorillas as well as humans and draws the link between the population, health and the environment.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Ohio University Voinovich School, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Environmental Studies Program, African Studies Program, African Student Union and the Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies have teamed up to sponsor this event.