Blog post: My path to conservation by Délagnon Assou

October 27, 2021

Throughout my childhood, my ambition was to become a medical doctor. However, after receiving my High School Diploma I was unable to enroll myself in medical sciences at university as I didn’t receive the information about the application deadline in time. Instead, in what I now view as a fortunate twist in events, I decided to enroll myself in Animal Biology and Physiology in the Department of Zoology and Animal Biology, University of Lomé.

During my undergraduate studies, I attended a talk by Professor Gabriel H. Segniagbeto on conservation. During this talk he presented shocking figures on the extinction rate of different zoological groups and concluded his talk with the following words:

This is how we are impacting the world, but I believe that among you, there will be people who will work to reverse this trend, or at least reduce it“.

This sentence had a huge impact on me and I decided to contact him immediately. This turned out to be worthwhile as following my graduation I joined his organization, the Togolese Society for Nature Conservation (AGBO-ZEGUE NGO), as a volunteer.

My new found passion for nature conservation later led me to complete an MSc in Natural Resources Management at the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin). It was during this Masters training that I committed to pursuing an academic career in wildlife ecology and conservation. Consequently, I joined the Laboratory of Ecology and Ecotoxicology (LaEE) of the University of Lome as a research assistant and became a member of the AGBO-ZEGUE scientific council.

I am currently a student on WildCRU’s Recanati-Kaplan Centre Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice where I am developing my knowledge in ecological theory behind data collection and skills in analysis techniques. The Diploma is also helping me develop a research network with international researchers at Oxford University and others around the world.

After completing my time in Oxford with WildCRU I hope to undertake a PhD in ecology and sustainable use of natural resources at University of Lomé. My ultimate goal is to contribute to wildlife conservation in Togo.

View Délagnon Assou’s full profile page here.