Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo, Madagascar

University of Antananarivo is the primary public university of Madagascar, located in the capital Antananarivo.The university traces its founding to 16 December 1955 and the formation of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Antananarivo. It established itself as the main center for higher education in the country, and was renamed the University of Madagascar in 1961. It later opened five more branches in Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Toamasina, Toliara, and Mahajanga.In 1988 all branches of the system became independent of each other, and the name University of Madagascar was dropped, with the Antananarivo campus becoming the University of Antananarivo. Wikipedia.

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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2011.4.1-1 | Award Amount: 9.88M | Year: 2012

NOPOOR aims to build new knowledge on the nature and extent of poverty in developing countries to provide policymakers with a broader understanding of poverty. We believe that poverty cannot be tackled without a comprehensive approach. We know that poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon, but NOPOOR will explore new and uncharted dimensions. It is not just a picture of poverty, but also an understanding of poverty entry and exit processes that is needed for achieving MDGs and for making more effective the policies. Nineteen experienced partners are involved in the project, which includes ten teams from developing and emerging countries in three regions (Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia). These countries have implemented different poverty reduction policies, and this will form the basis for the comparative and case studies approach taken. The project will identify key mechanisms that explain the persistence and exacerbation of poverty, which have been altered by the insertion of developing countries into the globalization process, including trade, aid, FDI and migration, and by the growing interdependence of economies. Causes may differ between countries. This calls for policies and actions to be tailored to each poor countrys characteristics, including their access to resources, political regime, quality of institutions and governance. These points are developed by various approaches, including political economics, and different methods: surveys, econometric studies and case studies. NOPOOR will put significant resources into generating new knowledge from original surveys, database work and qualitative work. .It will also look forward to future scenarios. Conclusions will be oriented to policy recommendations. Beyond this contribution to scientific knowledge, NOPOOR will pursue an active policy of dissemination and capacity building, including training of young Southern researchers and the implementation of a permanent network with National Institutes of Statistics (NIS). The project is policy-oriented. NOPOOR will accompany the EUs agenda for its policy against poverty by consultations, guidance notes, and policy briefs on issues relating to the program. The review of MDG will constitute an important point of focus in the future years.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-3-02 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2010

AFTER aims to revisit traditional African products, knowledge and know-how in the light of new technologies for the benefit of consumers, producers and processors in Africa and Europe. By applying European science and technology to African traditional food products, AFTER seeks to turn research into quantifiable and innovative technologies and products that are commercially viable in both European and African markets. The 10 selected products representing 3 families of foods, (fermented cereal-based, fermented salted fish and meat, and vegetable and fruit based functional foods), fit into a matrix of technologies and processes shared between Europe and Africa that will be jointly developed within the framework of AFTER. The 10 products will be characterised according to existing knowledge on technologies and processes. The improved products, produced through reengineering and new processing technologies, will be tested for consumer acceptance, safety and nutritional quality. The market and entry requirement for new products will be assessed. Involving EU and African companies in production trials for the improved products will translate the results into ready-to-use information for food companies. AFTER has 8 workpackages: Management and Coordination; Characterisation of traditional products and know-how; Process reengineering of fermented cereal based products; Process reengineering of meat and fish products; Process reengineering for traditional functional foods; Consumer and market acceptance; Appropriation of the improved processes and technologies and Dissemination and exploitation. Creating new markets and trade opportunities for improved traditional foods and novel products in Europe and Africa will increase economic returns for all stakeholders involved in the production chain, down to the community level. Due consideration will be accorded to regulatory, ethical and IPR issues while also protecting the intellectual rights of Africans.

Dewar R.E.,Yale University | Radimilahy C.,University of Antananarivo | Wright H.T.,University of Michigan | Wright H.T.,Santa Fe Institute | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2013

Past research on Madagascar indicates that village communities were established about AD 500 by people of both Indonesian and East African heritage. Evidence of earlier visits is scattered and contentious. Recent archaeological excavations in northern Madagascar provide evidence of occupational sites with microlithic stone technologies related to foraging for forest and coastal resources. A forager occupation of one site dates to earlier than 2000 B.C., doubling the length of Madagascar's known occupational history, and thus the time duringwhich people exploited Madagascar's environments. We detail stratigraphy, chronology, and artifacts from two rock shelters. Ambohiposa near Iharana (Vohémar) on the northeast coast, yielded a stratified assemblage with small flakes, microblades, and retouched crescentic and trapezoidal tools, probably projectile elements, made on cherts and obsidian, some brought more that 200 km. 14C dates are contemporary with the earliest villages. No food remains are preserved. Lakaton'i Anja near Antsiranana in the north yielded several stratified assemblages. The latest assemblage is well dated to A.D. 1050-1350, by 14C and optically stimulated luminescence dating and pottery imported from the Near East and China. Below is a series of stratified assemblages similar to Ambohiposa. 14C and optically stimulated luminescence dates indicate occupation from at least 2000 B.C. Faunal remains indicate a foraging pattern. Our evidence shows that foragers with a microlithic technology were active in Madagascar long before the arrival of farmers and herders and before many Late Holocene faunal extinctions. The differing effects of historically distinct economies must be identified and understood to reconstruct Holocene histories of human environmental impact. © PNAS 2013.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2015

It has been robustly demonstrated that variations in the circulation of the middle atmosphere influence weather and climate throughout the troposphere all the way to the Earths surface. A key part of the coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere occurs through the propagation and breaking of planetary-scale Rossby waves and gravity waves. Limited observation of the middle atmosphere and these waves in particular limits the ability to faithfully reproduce the dynamics of the middle atmosphere in numerical weather prediction and climate models. ARISE2 capitalizes upon the work of the EU-funded first ARISE project combining for the first time international networks with complementary technologies such as infrasound, lidar and airglow. This joint network provided advanced data products that started to be used as benchmarks for weather forecast models. The ARISE network also allows enhanced and detailed monitoring of other extreme events in the Earth system such as erupting volcanoes, magnetic storms, tornadoes and tropical thunderstorms. In order to improve the ability of the network to monitor atmospheric dynamics, ARISE2 proposes to extend i) the existing network coverage in Africa and the high latitudes, ii) the altitude range in the stratosphere and mesosphere, iii) the observation duration using routine observation modes, and to use complementary existing infrastructures and innovative instrumentations. Data will be collected over the long term to improve weather forecasting to monthly or seasonal timescales, to monitor atmospheric extreme events and climate change. Compared to the first ARISE project, ARISE2 focuses on the link between models and observations for future assimilation of data by operational weather forecasting models. Among the applications, ARISE2 proposes infrasound remote volcano monitoring to provide notifications to civil aviation. The data portal will provide high-quality data and advanced data products to a wide scientific community.

Jugeau F.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Narison S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Narison S.,Abdus Salam International Center For Theoretical Physics | Ratsimbarison H.,University of Antananarivo
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

Considering the classical two-point correlators built from (axial-) vector, scalar qq and gluonium currents, we confront results obtained using the SVZ⊕1/q2-expansion to the ones from some QCD holographic models in the Euclidean region and with negative dilaton Φi(z)=-|ci2|z2. We conclude that the presence of the 1/q2-term in the SVZ-expansion due to a tachyonic gluon mass appears naturally in the Minimum Soft-Wall (MSW) and the Gauge/String Dual (GSD) models which can also reproduce semi-quantitatively some of the higher dimension condensate contributions appearing in the OPE. The Hard-Wall model shows a large departure from the SVZ⊕1/q2-expansion in the vector, scalar and gluonium channels due to the absence of any power corrections. The equivalence of the MSW and GSD models is manifest in the vector channel through the relation of the dilaton parameter with the tachyonic gluon mass. For approximately reproducing the phenomenological values of the dimension d=4, 6 condensates, the holographic models require a tachyonic gluon mass (αs/π)λ2≈-(0.12-0.14) GeV2, which is about twice the fitted phenomenological value from e+e- data. The relation of the inverse length parameter ci to the tachyonic gluon mass also shows that ci is channel dependent but not universal for a given holographic model. Using the MSW model and Mρ=0.78 GeV as input, we predict a scalar qq mass MS≈(0.95-1.10) GeV and a scalar gluonium mass MG≈(1.1-1.3) GeV. © 2013.

News Article | March 4, 2016

There’s no question that our species has had a dramatic impact on the planet’s physical environment, particularly over the last few centuries, with the rise of modern industry, transportation, and infrastructure. But as new research shows, humans have been transforming the landscape, with lasting impacts, since long before the start of the Industrial Era. Scientists from MIT and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have found that a widespread and permanent loss of forests in Madagascar that occurred 1,000 years ago was due not to climate change or any natural disaster, but to human settlers who set fire to the forests to make way for grazing cattle. The researchers came to this conclusion after determining the composition of two stalagmites from a cave in northwestern Madagascar. Stalagmites form from water that percolates from the surface, through the soil, and into a cave. These finely layered pillars can be preserved for thousands of years, and their composition serves as a historical record of the environment above ground. From their analysis, the team found that around 1,000 years ago, both stalagmites’ calcium carbonate composition shifted suddenly and completely, from carbon isotope ratios typical of trees and shrubs, to those more consistent with grassland, within just 100 years. Was this landscape transformation triggered by climate change? The team’s results suggest otherwise. Around the same period, they found that oxygen isotope levels remained unchanged in both stalagmites, indicating that rainfall rates — and climate in general — remained relatively stable. “We went in expecting to just tell a climate change story, and were surprised to see a huge carbon isotope change in both stalagmites,” says David McGee, the Kerr-McGee Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. “Both the speed at which this shift occurred and the fact that there’s no real climate signal suggest human involvement.” The team’s results are published this week in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews. McGee, who studies the composition of stalagmites as an indicator of past climates, teamed up with lead author Stephen Burns, professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Laurie Godfrey, professor of anthropology also at UMass Amherst; and colleagues at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. Godfrey has been studying the extinctions of giant lemurs that occurred in Madagascar over the past 1,000 years. Populations of other large animals declined dramatically around this time, including pygmy hippos and giant tortoises. The megafaunal extinction was likely accelerated by habitat loss and the widespread destruction of forests at the time. However, it’s been difficult to pin down exactly why the forests shrank, and when. Scientists who have analyzed sediment deposits from ancient lakes in the region and in other parts of Madagascar have observed an increased abundance of charcoal microparticles — a signal of fire. They’ve also noticed a spike in grass pollen levels, indicating a larger extent of grasslands. But dates for these sediments are uncertain. McGee says stalagmites offer a more precise record of environmental change. “You’d think stalagmites in a cave are insensitive to what’s going on in the landscape above them,” McGee says. “But because they’re basically fossilized groundwater deposits, precipitated in very regular layers, they’re a fairly sensitive recorder of climate and ecosystem changes.” In a 2014 expedition to the island, Burns, Godfrey, and their Malagasy colleagues collected samples of stalagmites from Anjohibe Cave, a large cave system in northwestern Madagascar. They sent two meter-long stalagmites to McGee to analyze at MIT. In the lab, McGee and research scientist Benjamin Hardt determined the ages of each stalagmite’s layers by measuring the ratio of uranium to thorium — a common geological dating technique, but difficult in these samples given their relative youth. Burns then measured their carbon and oxygen isotope ratios. All plants take up carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. While carbon dioxide in the air consists of a fixed isotopic ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13, all plants preferentially take up carbon-12. Among plants, trees and shrubs more strongly exclude carbon-13 compared with grasses. When the dating and isotope results were put together, McGee and Burns observed a dramatic shift in the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 around 1,000 years ago in both stalagmites. “What we see in the record is that the change from carbon isotopes that look like forest, to isotopes that look like grassland, happens really rapidly, within a century, and it would be unusual for a forest to naturally completely turn into grassland that quickly,” McGee says. With additional analysis, Burns and McGee determined there was no corresponding change in oxygen isotopes at the time, eliminating climate change, or any natural drop in precipitation, as a trigger for forest loss. Godfrey and others have found evidence that humans settled on Madagascar around 3,000 years ago and later adopted a more agrarian lifestyle, introducing cattle to the island before 1,000 years ago. McGee says the results suggest that humans used “slash and burn techniques” around this time to create pastureland for cattle. “I think this is one more piece of evidence that human impacts on the environment don’t just start with Europeans and the Industrial era,” McGee says. Going forward, Godfrey says the team plans to sample more caves across Madagascar to determine the timing and extent to which humans transformed the landscape. “The transition from ephemeral forager to dedicated agro-pastoralist occurred, probably across Madagascar, around 1,000 years ago,” Godfrey says. “We know that a dramatic landscape transformation occurred in the northwest.  We know that this transformation was not triggered by climate change. But we don’t yet know whether similar shifts, also unrelated to natural aridification, occurred elsewhere on the island, and if so, when, exactly. We are currently seeking to answer these questions.” This research was funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society.

Thiele D.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Razafimahatratra E.,University of Antananarivo | Hapke A.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Unequal degrees of taxonomic subdivision can pose problems for research that relies on cross-taxon comparisons of biogeographic patterns. Numerous species of lemurs have been described in recent years. These descriptions were unevenly distributed over the genera of lemurs as exemplified by the closely related mouse lemurs (. Microcebus spp.) and dwarf lemurs (. Cheirogaleus spp.). According to previous studies, these genera display striking differences such as many versus few species, small versus large distributions, and small versus large mitochondrial divergence within and between species. We questioned if these differences reflect the biological reality or a biased taxonomic subdivision, which might be partially due to relatively small amounts of available genetic data from dwarf lemurs. We complemented existing datasets with genetic data from 51 dwarf lemurs from nine sites in southern Madagascar. We analyzed the mitochondrial cytb gene and the nuclear loci adora3, fiba, and vWF. Based on a comparison of mitochondrial genetic data from both genera, we delineated eight hypothetical subgroups within two recognized Cheirogaleus species. We used mitochondrial and nuclear data to reconstruct species trees and to estimate divergence times between Microcebus species and Cheirogaleus subgroups. We further performed Bayesian species delimitations based on nuclear sequence data from Cheirogaleus subgroups. Strong signals in mitochondrial and nuclear data indicate the existence of deeply divergent, distinct groups within recognized Cheirogaleus species. Based on several lines of evidence, we conclude that the species diversity in Cheirogaleus has been underestimated so far. We delineate six species among the eight subgroups and provide a formal description for one new Cheirogaleus species. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Keane A.,Imperial College London | Ramarolahy A.A.,University of Antananarivo | Jones J.P.G.,Bangor University | Milner-Gulland E.J.,Imperial College London
Conservation Letters | Year: 2011

Rules are fundamental to the implementation of conservation policies, but cannot change behavior if they are not known or understood. Despite this, few studies have investigated knowledge of conservation rules or factors influencing it. Here, we quantify the effects of involvement with tourism and community-based natural resource management, education and demographic factors on local people's awareness of Madagascar's species protection laws. Knowledge of the laws was generally low. However, those who worked as tourist guides, hosted tourists, and were involved in local forest management committees were almost twice as likely to classify correctly a species as protected compared with individuals not exposed to conservation messages in this way. This year marks 50 years since Madagascar introduced its first species protection law. It is time to recognize that rules are necessary, but not sufficient, for species protection and to devote more attention to the communication, and enforcement, of conservation rules. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Rakotondralambo J.,University of Antananarivo
Physics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics | Year: 2011

We introduce the notion of integrating factor for a 1-form which is an inner product of a vector fields and a 2-form, and the notion of weakly bi-Hamiltonian field also, which is locally quasi-bi-Hamiltonian. A cohomological class in some first cohomology space is associated to such vector fields when this is weakly bi-Hamiltonian and defined relatively to the above 1-form. This class is a cohomological obstruction to the existence of a global integrating factor for the 1-form. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Introduction: The high rate of in utero fetal death in our hospital led us to study its risk factors and causes. Methods: We conducted a casecontrol study from 1 January to 30 June, 2011, of all fetal deaths in utero in the Gynecology-Obstetrics University Hospital of Befelatanana. Risk factors were studied after comparison with a random sample of live births during the same period. The causes were classified according to the Perinatal Death Classification of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand. Results: The rate of in utero fetal deaths was 5.22%. The risk factors statistically verified were: mother older than 34 years, parity of five or more, preterm, fewer than four prenatal consultations, previous fetal loss or hypertension disorders, and mother working in agriculture or commerce. The causes identified were hypertensive disorders (20.66%), prepartum hemorrhage (18.18%), fetal growth restriction (14.87%), premature rupture of the membrane (14.05%), hypoxia (12.39%), perinatal infection (11.57%), maternal conditions (3.30%), congenital abnormalities (3.30%), and specific perinatal conditions (1.65%). Conclusion: Screening for risk factors and close monitoring during pregnancy and labor are important to reduce fetal deaths.

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