PhD project María Lozano-Jaramillo

“Understanding the Biological Background of Indigenous Poultry Breeds in Different Agro-Ecological Zones in Ethiopia”

Project duration: June 2015 – June 2019

My name is María Lozano-Jaramillo. I am currently doing my PhD, entitled “Understanding the Biological Background of Indigenous Poultry Breeds in Different Agro-Ecological Zones in Ethiopia” at the Animal breeding and genomics group of Wageningen University. I am a biologist with a masters degree in biological sciences, from La Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. I have also worked as a biology teacher, and in research on evolutionary biology and ecology that focused on the effects of climate change on wild species distributions. I came to The Netherlands from Colombia, on June 2015, and will stay in The Netherlands until June 2019. During this past 3 years I have been to Ethiopia several times, and will go there a few times more, to work at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on the African Chicken Genetics Gains (ACGG) project. My research focusses on understanding how climatic variability can have an effect on poultry productivity in Ethiopia. My goal is to develop a methodology that manages to include this climatic variability when setting up breeding programs or testing schemes. The Koepon program has shown significant progress in improving the Horro breed in Ethiopia. My aim now is to investigate which areas are most suitable in terms of environmental conditions, for the introduction of Horro to smallholder chicken farmers. By selecting chicken breeds that are optimally adapted to the local conditions, the project can have an impact on improving smallholders livelihoods, thereby enhancing not only their nutrition, but also aiding in poverty reduction. This is what gets me excited, having the opportunity to help others and having a positive impact on their lives and their future.

 

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