Who we are

Edda Affeldt and Michael Brending, founders of MECEP, are passionate conservation biologists and trained GIS engineers. While collaborating in their GIS theses with conservation projects of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Afghanistan, Edda and Michael learned to advocate cooperation between interdisciplinary research and applied conservation. Both followed this comprehensive approach in their last collarboration in UNEP’s project “The Economic of Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (TEEB) in Afghanistan.
Inspired by the conservation work of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the transnational root idea of Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) and their Afghan NGO partner Conservation Organization of Afghan Mountain Areas (COAM), MECEP is actively looking for multi-disciplinary partner to start exchange of skills and knowledge for a sustainable environmental management of Mount Elgon ecosystem.

Edda Affeldt

Edda Affeldt received a Diploma degree in biology from University of Bielefeld, Germany and is trained as a Geographic Information System (GIS) Engineer.

Edda`s scientific interests include population ecology, social systems in mammals, wildlife management and GIS with a focus on Africans elephants (Loxodonta africana). She has also worked on national and international environmental issues, e.g. in Germany, Kenya and Afghanistan. Currently, Edda holds various positions in MECEP, ranging from web presentation, innovative project and GIS management to the development of target-orientated research and conservation strategies.

Edda Affeldt`s research focus directly on the population of Mt Elgon’s last elephants: population dynamics, population genetic diversity and geographic population structure and their implications for conservation. Her strong interest is transferring this gained knowledge towards new, sustainable elephant management strategies across the trans-boundary area of Mt Elgon.

 

Michael Brending

Michael Brending received a Diploma degree in biology from University of Bielefeld, Germany and is trained as a Geographic Information System (GIS) Engineer.

Michael is classically trained in limnology with focus on tropical ecology. He worked as staff member at the Berlin Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), in close cooperation with the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) and the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW). Michael did research in Central America and collaborated with COAM in Afghanistan. Concerned about the new wave of ivory poaching, Michael changed his research focus on African elephants, teaming up with Edda.

Michael Brending’s research focus on Mt Elgon are habitat fragmentation and essential ecosystem functions. His particular interest is in understanding elephant’s suggested key role in the ecosystem’s mineral supply for increasing scientific and public awareness of the urgency of conservation.