Oliva Santarni Noroalintseheno Lalarivoniaina

Applied Zoology and Nature Conservation

Oliva S. Noroalintseheno Lalarivoniaina

Humboldt Research Fellow

Applied Zoology and Nature Conservation

Loitzer Str. 26

17489 Greifswald, Germany

Tel: +261 34 90 703 54

Email: olivasantarnigmailcom

Research interest and project

I am an ecologist interested in bat ecology and conservation. From 2014 to 2018, I studied the population dynamics of Rousettus madagascariensis, one of the three endemic Malagasy fruit bats,by modeling mark-recapture data. These study allowed me to obtain my diploma of advanced studies in 2015 and my PhD in 2018 at the Animal Department, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The results of my previous study showed firstly that R. madagascariensis adopts a sexual segregation at different stage of their life cycle and secondly that dispersal is an important factor that influence the survival rate in the colony and relatedly the population size. These findings, combined with those of some population genetic studies of this species imply the existence of an “individual exchange” between the sub-population across Madagascar. However, until now, no detailed study on the dispersal pattern of this species has been conducted.

Understanding the behavioral ecology, especially the mating system and the dispersal pattern of a species plays a critical role in conservation biology. They are crucial in the regulation of the population genetic structure and diversity, which are important factors in determining the long term-viability of a population. Studying them will help first to understand the genetic structure of the population and then to make the appropriate conservation decision.

We designed a research project to study the dispersal pattern and the mating system of R. madagascariensis and their impact on the genetic diversity of the population by using molecular data in order to complete the previous study and to bring new insights on the behavioral ecology of this Malagasy bat.

During the research project, I will address the following questions: (1) Is R. madagascariensis a monogamous, polygynous or polyandrous species and what are the factors that influence the choice of sexual partner? (2) Which model this species adopt as dispersal pattern: male biased dispersal and female philopatric, female biased dispersal and male philopatric or both sexes stay in their natal roost or disperse? Is this dispersal pattern related to the avoidance of inbreeding? (3) What are the consequences of the mating system and the dispersal pattern adopted by this species on her population genetic diversity?

This project has been awarded a sponsorship for a periods of 2 years from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Foundation finances the project itself and my whole stay here in Germany during these two years.