August 2022- Present. Associate Dean. Faculty of Environment and Resources Development, Egerton University
April 2022- Present: Senior Lecturer. Department of Natural Resources, Egerton University
February 2013- April 2022 : Lecturer. Department of Natural Resources, Egerton University
At the department level, I am in charge of postgraduate research students where my responsibilities include amongst others, guiding postgraduate students on proposal preparartion and thesis writing.
I a m a member of the University research and extension committee where I represent my faculty on all aspects related to research.
I also conduct individual research and previously have received an award from international organizations e.g. International Foundation for Sceince (IFS) to conduct research on mangrove forests.
May 2015- May 2021: Chairman, Department of Natural Resources, Egerton University
Some of my responsibilities include;
March 2009- February 2013. Marine Research Officer: Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.
I worked in the Marine Ecology and Environment Program (MEEP) which is responsible for monitoring and documenting the physical (including geological) and chemical characteristics of the various aquatic ecosystems to discern natural and/or human induced changes. The program also undertakes studies on the interrelationships between the biota and their aquatic environment in relation to fisheries, aquaculture and conservation of biodiversity. My responsibilities include: Monitoring of restored mangrove plantations,
Feb 2008 – May 2008. Task Force Member : National State of the Coast Report – 2008.
I was involved in preparation of National State of the Coast Report -2008, a policy document- which is spearheaded by National Environment Management Authority. My contribution involved scientific editing of various chapters, proof reading and editing the draft copy of the document before submission to the editors.
June 2004 - April 2008. Project leader/Doctoral Student, Napier University/ KMFRI, Gazi Bay, Kenya
I investigated the correlation between species diversity and ecosystem functions, using replanted mangrove trees as the experimental model. This was a collaborative project between Edinburgh Napier University (UK) and the Kenyan Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, with funding from the Leverhulme Trust (UK) and Earthwatch (UK). We planted forest plots with varying tree diversity to tests the effects of species richness on ecosystem functions, such as productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration and the prevention of soil erosion. The work involved Kenyan technicians, post-graduate students and Earthwatch volunteers from all over the world. I provided mangrove research expertise, planned and organised year-round field campaigns, and ran annual team of expeditions. Other engagements included a number of lectures on biodiversity and ecosystem functions, climate change and mangrove ecology
Every July/August 2004, to June 2009: Co- Principle Investigator: Earthwatch’s Mangrove forests of Kenya Expedition Project
This periodic expedition brings together a teams of volunteers from all over the world. My duties as a team leader/player in this project have included;
June 2006: Coordinator: Gazi village Clean up campaigns:
2003-2005: Research Assistant: Ecological Economics of mangrove forests- associated fisheries – Food security and sustainability’. I was involved in forestry aspects of this Sarec funded project.
My main research focus is on management and conservation of forestry resources with emphasis on mangrove forest ecosystem. My Msc theses was in development of tools for estimating Mangrove tree biomass – an important tool in measuring capture and stored carbon in trees and which was adopted by the Mikoko Pamoja project (www.mikokopamoja.org) that uses carbon credits for conservation and development in Kenya coast which has had local, national and international impacts. With public and private support, the project has recruited >140 international volunteers, trained 46 African scientists, and funded development including schools and pumps. It is pioneering community control of mangroves using new legal instruments and informing the national management.
My PhD thesis explored how ecosystems services performed at various levels of species diversity. Large scale experiments (5872 mangrove trees were planted) revealed the key physical and chemical constraints preventing natural regeneration (increased wave impact and salinization), and determined the nursery techniques and target species to be used in active restoration. In addition to these practical applications, the thesis work addressed questions of fundamental interest to ecosystem science, including the role of species richness in ecosystem functions and of positive facilitation in plant growth in harsh environments. We demonstrated for the first time how higher species richness and higher density can contribute to survival and ecosystem restoration in mangroves, and how altering planting strategies affects the forests' ability to keep up with sea-level rise by raising the level of their substrates.
My post-doc work focused on climate change effects on mangrove forest provisioning of goods and services and their adaptation; Case Study of Tana River Delta, Kenya. The study established that ecosystem goods and services provided by mangrove forest in the Tana River delta were under immense twin threat of climate change and anthropogenic factors and that the presence of high densities of cut stumps and well as reduced numbers of the locally preferred mangrove species was a pointer to these threats. The study findings also indicated an existence in wealth of local knowledge on the climate change related hazards and how the local communities were coping with the changes. The study recommended the need for development of mangrove management plans that would ensure that cutting zones were established, complete with system of reforesting the cleared sites. This work eventually culminated in informing the Development of Kenya National Mangrove Management Plan (2017-2027)
I have supervised numerous postgraduate and undergraduate students on topics ranging from; on above and belowground carbon dynamics, Forest dynamics, dynamics in Fisheries Beach Management Units, aquatic ecosystems ecology and mangrove ecology. My current research interests are on; understanding the extent of integration of climate change and adaptation at Universities in Kenya, Carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from mangroves and modeling forest fire occurrence and impacts on carbon dynamics.