Our CCF Applied Biosystems Genetics Laboratory has finally been moved from its old home in the basement of a perimeter building into its new home in the new Visitor Centre. The space will enable visitors to observe our scientists in action while they are working on genetics projects that impact the cheetah and other vulnerable species, including the African lion, cape buffalo, brown hyena and white rhino.
All of the lab equipment has been transferred to the new location (much of which required disassembling and reassembling, no small task), and has been recalibrated. Projects that were placed on hold during the move will resume, and new projects are set to begin.
By making the lab more accessible to visitors, we hope to inspire the next generation of African research scientists, which will make our efforts in Namibia sustainable over the long term. The lab is directed by Dr. Anne Schmidt-Küntzel with help from lab manager Katrin Hils, and Lucia Mhuulu who, in July, was awarded her Master’s degree at the University of Namibia for her work at CCF with DNA extraction of cheetah scat found at play trees by our detection dogs, and linking this to photos on camera traps. Currently, CCF has two interns, one from Zambia and the other from Zimbabwe.