Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Babette Abanda

Research interests

I received my Master’s degree from the University of Ngaoundéré in Cameroon within the DFG-funded project "Can onchocerciasis be eradicated?” operated by the Programme Onchocercoses field station of the University of Tuebingen, and the IRAD Wakwa Regional Centre in Ngaoundéré.

As a project partner of German and Cameroonian researchers I am interested in the biodiversity of African cattle, parasites and vectors, particularly ticks and their transmitted pathogens. I have successfully applied for several small-scale research grants (Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Otto Bayer Foundation, Teach@Tuebingen fellowship, DAAD, BW Stipendium) to foster my PhD project and my teaching skills, as I aim for an academic lecturer career in Cameroon. Furthermore, my research is supported by third-party funds of DFG and the mural RiSC programme, co-funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden Württemberg.

The focus of my research is to analyze the genetic and phenotypic diversity of cattle breeds from the northern part of Cameroon, and to associate their respective genotypes to their susceptibility to prevailing parasites. Over 1300 cattle have been carefully examined during field work, and the molecular-genetic analyses by conventional PCR, Sanger sequencing and reverse line blotting, as well as next-generation sequencing approaches with the Illumina platform are currently underway.

A genome-wide association study shall permit to identify markers of resistance or susceptibility to the regions’ most important pathogenic agents, which could ultimately contribute to strengthen the resilience to infectious diseases of the local breeds in their respective environment.

After two years of staying in Tübingen, I am trilingual speaking and understanding English, French and German to a proficient level. Especially the German language skills proofed useful to connect with my colleagues and local people, and to embrace the German culture in the most inspiring way