African Scholars

Monica Chege

Monica is an assistant research scientist with the Kenya Wildlife Service and is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biology of Conservation Biology at the University of Nairobi.  Her current position at the Kenya Wildlife Service entails analysis of data relation to animal control, ecological assessments of wildlife species prior to their trans location, animal census, assessing the impact of fire and habitat management.  On successful completion of her MSc, Monica will be among the few Kenya Wildlife Service MSc female employees to be deployed in Kenya’s protected areas.

In 2014, Monica begin a new project “Lion (Panthera leo, Linnaeus, 1758) Spatial Ecology as an Indicator of Potential Conflict Areas in Nairobi National Park Ecosystem, Kenya” with funding support from the IDP Field Scholars Program.  The main objective of this research study is to look at how lions utilize each type of habitat in Nairobi National Park in relation to prey density and how these are related to human-lion conflict.

 Jackson Kingoo

Having worked for the Kenya Wildlife Service as a Research Assistant in Biodiversity Research & Monitoring for more than 15 years, Jackson has observed the ever growing challenges and threats to our wildlife and their habitats, degradation of habitats through unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources. Currently he is pursuing a BS in Dryland Natural Resource Management at the African Nazarene University in order to upgrade his professional skills to make a more significant contribution to biodiversity conservation issues.

 Paul Muigai Kirika

From January 2009 to present, Paul Kirika has been an assistant research scientist, Botany department, East Africa Herbarium, National Museums of Kenya. Due to his long-time interest in botany, he is currently pursuing an MSC at Moi University in order to acquire the research skills necessary to meet the critical challenges of classification and documentation of flora, thus enabling better understanding of existing botanical diversity for conservation.  MacArthur Associate Curator Thorsten Lumbsch (Botany) is collaborating with Ph.D. student Paul Kirka to study fungi and lichens.  To share their work on lichens with the world, the Field Museum is opening a special exhibition to explore the miniature world of lichens all around us in 2014.

In 2015, Paul will complete his PhD and become the first lichen expert in all of East Africa, one of the most bio diverse places on Earth.

 Francois Ngera Mwangi

Francois is a young biologist at the Lwiro Research Station in DR Congo who specializes in aquatic insects, undertaking stream monitoring research around Lwiro and building one of the finest collections of aquatic insects in the Albertine Rift region. He is currently pursuing his MSc in Environmental and Water Science at the University of the Western Cape in order to continue his study of aquatic ecosystems.

 Ibrahim Busolo Namunaba

Ibrahim is currently pursuing a PhD in Archeology at the University of Nairobi. His Master’s thesis involved a study of Kenya’s heritage management policies, and his doctoral efforts study the impact of tourism on coastal archeological sites and monuments. Ibrahim has also worked as a research scientist and manager of archaeological collections in the National Museums in Mombasa.

 Stephen Ndambuki

Stephen currently holds a BSC in wildlife management with a specialty of animal population dynamics. He has been working as an assistant research scientist with the Kenya Wildlife Service for four years and is pursuing a Masters degree in Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Resources at the University of Nairobi. Stephen has been selected for the research scientist posting at the Kenya Wildlife Service, and as such, with his Masters degree he will be in a position to strongly influence the course of scientific research and wildlife management.

 Kyonjola Nsajigwa

Kyonjola currently works on bird conservation projects at the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, striving to collect and maintain good data collection of globally threatened bird species. He is pursuing a MSc in Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Dar Es Salaam, with a thesis focus on sampling birds along transects established and monitored since 2005.

 Stephen Wamiti

Stephen is an assistant research scientist at the National Museums of Kenya, specifically focusing on collecting and identifying avian feather lice. He is pursuing a MSc in order to further continue working on ornithological monitoring and conservation projects throughout Kenya. With a Masters, he would be the premier scholar of feather lice on staff at the National Museums of Kenya.

 Catherine Nakhungu Wanjala

Although interested in pursuing higher education her entire life, Catherine has needed to receive funding to continue acquiring an education. Catherine is currently pursuing her BS at Kenyatta University with the goal of continuing to higher education in order to be a professor.

UPDATE:  On July 5, 2013 Catherine graduated with upper second honors (cum laude) from Kenyatta University in Nairobi.During the 2012/2013 academic year, she took a total of eight units, including Laboratory Methods and Techniques in Zoology and General Entomology.  She has decided on her area of specialization to be entomology – the study of insects – and hopes to be a researcher in the field of entomology in the future.

  Alex Mwazo Gombe

Alex was initially the project assistant and then the co-PI on Field Museum MacArthur Curator of Mammals Bruce Patterson’s”Lions of Tsavo” project with Earthwatch *2002-2009).  Alex’s thesis on the Grevy’s Zebra, which is currently endangered with less than 2,000 left in the wild, was critically dependent on Field Museum support and scientific guidance.  Alex’s field works was supported by a grant from the IDP Foundation/Field Museum African Training Fund.  Alex Mwazo Gombe has recently graduated from Kenyatta University with a Masters Degree.  He is now well qualified to assume a variety of resource management positions in a country that has heavy pressures on all its natural resources.