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Nyanza Project'Nyanza Project' Undergraduate Course

Each year the Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project has sponsered the participation of twelve African students in the Nyanza Project. Organized by the International Decade of East African Lakes (IDEAL) and Dr. Andrew Cohen of the University of Arizona, The Nyanza Project is an intensive research and training course in the geology, limnology and biology of tropical lakes. Three students each from Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and Zambia, and twelve American students participate in the six-week long course which is based in Kigoma, Tanzania on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) hosts the program in their facilities.

During the first three weeks of the course, students attend lectures, laboratory exercises and local field trips which illuminate aspects of the geology, limnology and biology of tropical lakes, especially Lake Tanganyika. During the second three weeks of the course, the students, alone or in groups, conduct small scale research projects under the direction of the instructors, Dr. Kiram Lezzar (geology), Dr. Pierre-Denis Plisinier (limnology) and Dr. Ellinor Michel (biology). In addition, Dr. Gaspard Ntakimazi and Mr. Willie Mbemba provide additional assistance to the instructors and mentoring to the students.

Students research projects (available online) have included such diverse topics as:
  • 'A comparative study of fish populations from rocky and sandy biotopes'
  • 'Investigations of possible daily coastal upwelling effect on areas of different relief'
  • 'Investigation of short-term variation in the thermocline depth and its effect on nutrient levels in Kigoma Basin'
  • 'Contribution to the study of algal benthos of the littoral zone'
  • 'Fisheries and limnological patchiness: an investigation between water parameters and fishing results'
  • 'Preliminary studies of the rate of egg sedimentation in Stolothrissa tanganicae'
  • 'The influence of small streams on the hydrogeochemistry of Lake Tanganyika'
  • 'The influence of rivers Malagarasi and Luiche on Lake Tanganyika: dissolved and suspended particles'
  • 'The relationship between environmental variations in plankton and the pelagic fish'
  • 'Factors influencing the distribution of hydrocarbons in surface sediments,' 'The distribution of nutrients in surface sediments'
  • 'The diet of Lobochilotes labiatus and Neolamprologus tretacephalus'
  • 'Abundance and diversity of gastropods at Jacobsen's Beach' among others.
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