Corine Sinsin, Evrard Akpla and Adande Belarmain Fandohan, Benin

CORINE'S BIO

Hello, my name is Corine B.L. SINSIN. 
I am a young female student (21 years old) from Benin. I grew up and was educated in my home country. I hold a B.Sc. in Natural Resources management. My B.Sc. graduation report addressed diversity, abundance and use patterns of spice, aromatic and dye vegetables in Southern Benin. As a M.Sc. student, my current interest is in cross-cutting scientific issues (i.e., how to put different scientific discipline together in order to re-think and reorient development in Africa, particularly in Benin). As such, I believe indigenous Agroforestry species could play an important role in building a sustainable development path in Africa in the current context of climate change, through an Ecosystem Based Approach for Adaptation. French is my first language, my fluency in english is still relatively poor but I think  the MyCOE initiative provides me a good opportunity to practice and improve myself. I love traveling, music and sport.





EVRARD'S BIO

Hello, my name is Evrard AKPLA. 
I am a young male student (21 years old) from Benin. I grew up and was educated in my home country. As an undergraduate student, my current interest is in cross-cutting scientific and development issues with specific focus on the use of indigenous edible plant species to build an ecosystem based approach for adaption to climate change in West Africa. As such, I believe integrating indigenous fruit tree species and other socio-economically and culturally valuable species into formal crop production systems can help build resilience to climate change in Africa. French is my first language, my fluency in english is still relatively poor but I think  the MyCOE initiative provides me a good opportunity to practice and improve myself. I love traveling, music and sport.




BELARMAIN'S BIO

Hello, my name is A. Belarmain FANDOHAN. 
I am a young male academic (31 years old) from Benin. I grew up and was educated (from primary school to university) in my home country. I am a forester and agro-forester by training and I did a PhD in Natural Resources Management and Conservation Biology. Recently I have been appointed in the teaching staff of Tropical Plant Ecology and Conservation at my country’s most prominent University (University of Abomey Calavi). My current research focuses on cross-cutting issues combining Ecological modeling, Biogeography, Conservation, Ethno-ecology and Ethnobotany of indigenous tree species, especially those playing key roles in rural communities’ livelihoods in Africa. I am also addressing how far natural populations of these species can sustainably support harvesting pressures and how to develop better in/on farm/ex situ conservation and use plans. From 2010 to present my scientific activities have yielded fifteen (15) scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals with ISI impact factor in the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports (including Acta Botanica Gallica; African Journal of Ecology; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment; Biotechnology Agronomy Society and Environment; Economic Botany; Fruits; Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution; Human Ecology; Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change). I am a native French speaker with good commend of English. I think I have an addiction to soul music, travelling and pedestrian trips across forests and savannahs.

Key Research Awards
- 2013: Best research paper in Ecology 2011-2012 edition; The Support Africa International Foundation, Ecology Award, Germany, 2013.
- 2012: African-German Network of Excellence in Science - Grant for Junior Researchers
- 2012: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) - Research Fellowship for Distinguish International Young Scientists
- 2012: Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Fellowship for Distinguish International Young Scientists





ABOUT OUR RESEARCH

To date, there is agreement that domestication of indigenous Agroforestry species for diversification of subsistence agriculture could play a big role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In case exploitation of these species is female-biased, they can help improve women’s purchasing power and their livelihoods in rural communities. This project aims at combining geo-referenced presence records, ecological niche modeling tools and ethnobotanical surveys to assess geographical range of suitable areas for cultivation and conservation of two prominent food and medicinal indigenous species in Benin (Cochlospermum tinctorium and Synsepalum dulcificum). Specifically, the study will: (i) Map geographical distribution of suitable habitats for cultivation and conservation of C. tinctorium and S. dulcificum under current and future climate scenario; (ii) assess and map  use patterns and contribution of the species to rural women’s cash income; (iii) assess traditional classification based intra-specific diversity within the species; (iv) assess effectiveness of the national protected areas network to protect and conserve the species under current and future climatic conditions. Outputs from this project are expected to be use as relevant tools guide decision-making for climate resilient production and conservation plans. 

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