Alison Fleming

Social network analysis of captive lions

Honours at the Fenner School was an amazing experience as it allowed me to do such an ambitious project; it was definitely a year I will never forget!

The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) is a not-for-profit organisation operating out of Africa that aims to breed captive lions for future release into the wild.  As lions are slowly disappearing from the wild, programmes such as these are crucial to their survival.

"After volunteering at ALERT in Zambia three years ago I instantly fell in love with the beautiful lions there and knew that I wanted to return and conduct my honours research with them."

"After much hard work I had the good fortune to find that the Fenner School was home to Professor Robert Heinsohn, who had previously done research with lions in Africa. I was delighted; my dream of conducting research with these lions was going to become a reality!"

"I wanted my research to reveal information that would be beneficial to the function of ALERT. I decided to analyse the social environment of these lions to see if they form social bonds within prides despite close contact with humans in their formative years."

"My results were positive and I found that these lions are socialising with one another amicably.  Honours at the Fenner School was an amazing experience as it allowed me to do such an ambitious project; it was definitely a year I will never forget!"

Updated:  23 May 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School