VolkswagenStiftung Postdoctoral Fellowships

Duration: 2014 - 2016 (Phase I), 2017 - 2020 (Phase II), 2021 - 2024 (Phase III)


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Research focus: The interdisciplinary fellowship project "Livelihood Management, Reforms and Processes of Structural Change" is part of the Volkswagen Foundation initiative "Knowledge for Tomorrow - Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa", which supports researchers who are based in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative provides an opportunity to enhance academic qualifications and skills, and strengthens partnerships between African and German scholars by supporting the fellows to develop and extend their academic networks within Africa and beyond.

In its current third phase, this project supports three scientists from South Africa (1), Kenya (1) and Benin (1) to complete their own research projects during a final funding period of three years.

The individual research projects deal with the question of how individual or collective social actors can manage and protect social-ecological resources efficiently and develop sustainable livelihood strategies under present economic, socio-political and environmental conditions and in view of locally and globally changing circumstances.


Houessou S.O., Dossa L.H., Assogba C.A., Diogo R.V.C., Vanvanhossou S.F.U., Schlecht E. 2020. The role of cross-border transhumance in influencing resident herders’ cattle husbandry practices and use of genetic resources. Animal (online); DOI 10.1017/S1751731120001378

Houessou S.O., Dossa L.H., Diogo R.V.C., Ahozonlin M.C., Dahouda M., Schlecht E. 2019. Confronting pastoralists' knowledge of cattle breeds raised in the extensive production systems of Benin with multivariate analyses of morphological traits. PLoS ONE 14(9), e0222756. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0222759

Houessou S.O., Dossa, L.H., Diogo R.V.C., Buerkert A., Schlecht E. 2018. Change and continuity of West African Coast countries: A case study from Benin.Agricultural Systems 168, 112-122. DOI 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.11.003

Yasseboungbe F.P., Oloukoi D., Aoudji A.K.N., Schlecht E., Dossa L.H. 2022. Insights into the diversity of cow milk production systems on the fringes of coastal cities in West Africa: A case study from Benin. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 6, 1001497. DOI 10.3389/fsufs.2022.1001497