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2007 Expedition to Mount Elgon, Uganda


The primary goal of this expedition was to discover new species of catfish in rivers draining the western flanks of Mount Elgon, an old volcanic cone that sits astride the border between Uganda and Kenya. To execute this field work, I worked closely with Karen Vaverica, an Auburn University aquaculture specialist who was in Uganda to train farmers how to build fish ponds and produce Tilapia commercially. I also worked with NAFIRRI, the Ugandan fisheries authority, and researchers at Makerere University in Kampala. 

        In contrast to my work in South America, I found very few endemic fish species in the rivers of western Uganda, rather a general pattern of widespread species with sometimes very subtle differences between drainages. One clearly undescribed species that I collected from a tributary of the northeast corner of Lake Victoria was ultimately named after me (Amphilius lujani) by ichthyologists Alfred Thomson, Larry Page and Samantha Hilber at the University of Florida. Specimens collected during this expedition are now cataloged at AUM under field number prefix GUY05, where they continue to benefit ichthyological research. One paper that has already benefited from collections and observations made during this trip is the following:

  • Thomson, A.W., L.M. Page and S.A. Hilber. 2015. Revision of the Amphilius jacksonii complex (Siluriformes: Amphiliidae), with the descriptions of five new species. Zootaxa 3986:61-87.

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