GTI capacity development project(s) of Martin Patrick
Patrick3 - étudiants de licence et master de l’UAC

Taxonomy of groundwater invertebrates in Benin: paving the way for water quality assessment & biomonitoring tools

Project details

  • Years

    2019 and 2021

  • Country


  • Studied organism

    1__Arthropods - Crustaceans: Animalia – Arthropoda – Malacostraca – Isopoda – Stenasellidae; 2__Segmented worms: Animalia – Annelida – Clitellata (Oligochaeta)

  • Organising institute (Belgium)

    Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Partner institute (South)

Laboratoire de Parasitologie et Ecologie Parasitaire (LPEP) – Université d’Abomey-Calavi

This project aims to overcome a taxonomic handicap by a taxonomic training to the Crustacea Isopoda Metastenasellus (Stenasellidae), a stygobiotic genus dominant in Beninese groundwater. This training will be carried out as part of a South-South collaboration (University of Marrakech, Morocco; University of Yaoundé, Cameroon), with which the promoter of this project is associated. Building on the knowledge acquired during previous GTI projects with the Beninese partner (taxonomic expertise, DNA sequencing), this project will also contribute to feeding and completing a reference genetic library of stygofauna, an essential step in the development of tomorrow’s tools for biomonitoring and the evaluation of the integrity and health of underground aquatic ecosystems.

In order to raise awareness among the actors of tomorrow about the issues at stake, the promoter is planning a course and conferences for students and stakeholders (see here the invitation for the conference at Parakou University). During his stay, the needs in terms of management of the stygofauna collection will also be assessed. The database accumulated during previous projects will be made available via the website of the CHM Benin.

The recent recruitment of Mr. Lagnika as an assistant in “Groundwater Ecology and Parasitology” at the University of Abomey Calavi will make it possible to valorise the taxonomic capacity and expertise acquired and to develop long-term collaboration. This recruitment reflects the authorities’ interest in the groundwater issues studied in Benin, which is currently shared by other African countries (Cameroon, Morocco) with which we have developed contacts and collaborations.

Files and additional information

Discover more about the series of awareness conferences/courses on Benin’s groundwater biodiversity given by Dr. Patrick Martin in September 2019 in these articles from the Beninese press:

 Article published by “La Perche du Nord” about the open conference held at Université de Parakou on September 25, 2019

 Article published by “Les 4 Vérités” about the conference held at Ecole d’Aquaculture, Université Nationale d’Agriculture (UNA) on September 23, 2019

Have a look at the abstract of the oral presentation given by Dr. Patrick Martin at the “7ème colloque des Sciences, Cultures et Technologies” which took place at UAC from September 16 to 21, 2019

Scientific papers