CIRCLE VISITING FELLOWS – COHORT 1, 2015

Ethiopia

Home Institution: Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural Research

Kidist Abera Anteneh

Kidist Abera AntenehHost institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Area of research: Biometrics, GIS and agrometeorology research.
Research focus: Evaluation of the impact of climate change on maize (Zea mays L.) production via crop simulation modelling.

The purpose of this research is to formulate adaptation options, which should be practical, affordable and acceptable to farmers through quantifying the impact of observed climate variability and possible future changes on maize crop production using a state-of-the-art dynamical crop simulation models.

Home Institution: Hawassa University
Abhram Belay Mekonnen
AbhramHost institution: International livestock research institute, Kenya.

Area of research: Economic value of natural resources (Contingent valuation approach). Economic impact of climate change on agricultural crop production. Agri-business and value chain adaptation to climate change.

Research focus: This research focuses on adaptation to climate change by smallholder farmers and determinants to their adaptation decision in Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Adaptation to climate change is a two-step process, which involves perceiving that the climate is changing and then responding to changes through adaptation strategies. The perception of the farmers on climate change will determine the adaptation strategies of the farmers. The potential influential factors that affect farmer’s adaptation strategies are supposed to be environmental, economical and institutional factors. This study addresses the following research questions. How do smallholder farmers perceive climate change and its impacts? How do they respond to climate change impacts? What are the main factors that affect the response of smallholder farmers to climate change?

Home Institution: Mekelle University

Samuale Tesfaye Baye

Samuale Tesfaye BayeHost institution: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Area of research: Eco-hydrology; ecological restoration; watershed management; surface hydrology; water balance in dryland areas; climate change adaptation and mitigation; land use land cover assessment; GIS and RS application to hydrology, forestry and land resources assessment; hillside management; environmental entrepreneurship; green economy; carbon forestry and landscaping.

Research focus: The study on climate change impact on the eco-hydrology of Geba Catchment, Tekez Basin in Ethiopia assesses and quantifies the changes (weather/climate) that will be anticipated, and their future potential impacts on the water and biota resources of the basin with respect to the changing climate. It investigates future expected anthropogenic activities which, consequently, indicate a potential for measurable changes in the conditions that control hydrologic processes and, the biotic composition and structures.
Hadgu Hishe Teferi
Hadgu Hishe TeferiHost institution: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Area of research: Forestry and remote sensing (Forest contribution in carbon sequestration and the implication for climate change adaptation in creating climate change resilient ecosystem).
Research focus: The research assesses carbon sequestration in dry Afromontane forests and the effect of land use land cover changes on the amount of carbon stored in the forest ecosystem. Forest density changes over time and the effect of change in climate on the dynamism of the forest. The role of natural exclosures in mitigating climate change compared to the plantation exclosures. Looking in to different methods of assessing carbon for carbon management, alometric equations and remote sensing options for near real time carbon assessment and management.
Home Institution: Wollo University
Fikru Assefa Mengstie
Fikru Assefa MengstieHost institution: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Area of research: Evaluate enhanced communities’ adaptive capacity to climate change in the Blue Nile catchment, Eastern Ethiopia.
Research focus: The research evaluates the enhanced adaptive capacity of communities and local institutions in the regions of the Blue Nile Basin, Eastern Ethiopia to climate – induced water stress.
 

Ghana

Home Institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Philip Antwi-Agyei

Host institution: University of Ghana.

Area of research: Climate change and variability, food security, rural livelihoods, sustainable development, environmental policy, and environmental management. Research focus: A growing body of literature on climate change adaptation suggests that “climate compatible development (CCD)” can help open up strategies to land-users that will help them maintain productivity in the face of changing rainfall patterns. CCD draws together adaptation and mitigation efforts in a way that does not compromise development, providing opportunities to achieve “triple wins”. But while the idea of CCD is alluring, much remains unknown about how to actually realise such “triple wins” in national and regional level policy making. This research identifies how policies promote CCD and whether these policies support adaptation, mitigation and development on the ground in Ghana. Divine Odame Appiah

Divine Odame AppiahHost institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Area of research: Off-forest reserve farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change.
Research focus: The project assesses existing adaptation strategies and is developing new strategies to climate variability and change among off-reserve subsistent households, in the Offinso South Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The research envisages delivering scientific knowledge on adaptation to climate variability for subsistent farmers. It would do so by delivering scientifically-grounded knowledge from the innovative Strategic Enterprise Intervention (SEI) approach. This would integrate local knowledge and resources to address adaptation to climate variability and change among the study actors. Subsistent farmers’ initiatives in sustainable rural livelihood, under climate change would be strengthened.
Home Institution: University for Development Studies
Esther Ekua Amfoa Amoako
Esther Ekua Amfoa AmoakoHost institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Area of research: The Impact of Anthropogenic Bushfires in Savannah/Parklands.
Research focus:  The deterioration of vegetation and soils is evidently caused by human activities, including the use of fire, be it as a part of traditional agricultural practice including the reduction of combustible litter on farmlands, to simulating new shoots to enhance grazing, or for hunting (Ashaley, 2012). These methods are very significant in the traditional farming systems in West Africa and have enormous effects on plant communities and soil productivity (Nsia-Gyabaah, 1996: Ashaley, 2012).
The research is investigating the impact of anthropogenic bushfires on species diversity, soil seed bank and soil biota.
Home Institution: University of Energy and Natural Resources
Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa Derkyi
Mercy Afua Adutwumwaa DerkyiHost institution: University of Ghana.
Area of research: Linkage of social-natural-governing systems.
Research focus: Disaggregating gender issues of how farmers mitigate and adapt to climate variability in agriculture-forest livelihood landscapes, the incentives, constraints and opportunities thereof is the focus of the research. The hypothesis is that men and women in this landscape due to socially constructed gender roles, access to and control of resources; and geographical locations are differently vulnerable to climate change and have diverse coping strategies to enhance their livelihoods and sustain the landscape’. Theoretical and methodological focus of the study is on three key concepts (i.e. gender, social–ecological system, climate change) and mixed methods respectively. The study hopes to contribute to policy interventions directed to the needs of the different gender categories.
Amos Tiereyangn Kabo-bah
Amos Tiereyangn Kabo-bah, Host institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Area of research: Hydrological modelling, applied remote sensing and GIS for resources management
Research focus: There is the need for continuous research on climate change especially at the national scale. It is already clear from literature that Ghana will be water stressed by 2020 irrespective of any adverse effects from climate change. With the nation’s economy heavily dependent on the Akosombo, Kpong and Bui Hydroelectric plants, it is imperative to research into the varying climatic conditions that affect water availability in these reservoirs. The accurate assessment of rainfall, temperature and evapotranspiration within the country are important indicators for showing the related water levels and associated impact on meeting energy demands in the country. The research assesses the impact of rainfall and evapotranspiration on energy generation hydropower generation in Ghana.

Kenya

Home Institution: Embu University College
Hannah Karuri
Hannah KaruriHost institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Area of research: Nematology/Biotechnology.
Research focus: Sweet potato is an important food crop consumed throughout Africa. However, yields are reduced by commonly occurring root knot nematodes (RKN). In addition, the presence of other parasitic nematodes influences RKN population dynamics and increases the damage that they cause. Climate change may cause an increase in abundance of parasitic nematodes including RKN. The research selects RKN resistant sweet potato genotypes and determines the effect of climate on distribution and abundance of parasitic nematodes associated with Kenyan sweet potato. The research will provide information that will be important in mitigating the effects of climate change on sweet potato production.
Justin Nyaga
Justin NyagaHost institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Area of research: Plant physiology
Research focus: Current research is on the role of transpiration-driven mass-flow on growth and nutrient delivery to roots of C3 and C4 crops, and consequences of changing atmospheric CO2 concentration.
This research evaluates whether the concentration mechanism of C4 (maize) alter nitrate and ammonia uptake relative to C3 (wheat). It also seeks to find out whether nutrient supply can be optimised to account for transpiration differences and hence mass flow differences between C4 and C3 crops. This work also seeks to understand how elevated atmospheric CO2 alters nitrate and ammonia uptake through mass-flow in C4 (maize) relative to C3(wheat).
Home Institution: International Livestock Research Institute
Catherine Njeri Mungai
Host institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Catherine NjeriArea of research: Climate change, food security, gender, policy. 
Research focus: The study seeks to understand the agriculture, climate change and trade policy and institutional environment as it relates to smallholders’ capacity to undertake climate smart agriculture in Kenya. There is an apparent need to understand the interrelationships between policies (and its actors) at national, county and community levels in order to recommend potential solutions that can support/create the enabling environment for the implementation of climate smart farming options. Using a gender lens, the study attempts to identify the missing link and suggest recommendations that can be used to improve the policy environment as well as enable adaptation to climate change at the end‐user level.
Home Institution: University of Nairobi
Silas Odongo Oriaso
Silas OdongoHost institution: United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Kenya.
Area of research: Community-based climate change adaptation for sustainable agriculture in Kenyan Asals
Research focus: The current research focuses on the application of community based climate change adaptation for sustainable agriculture in Kenyan ASAL areas. Specifically, the research will document all effective CBAs for agricultural production, develop effective CBA mainstreaming frameworks and disseminate the lessons learned to inform future climate change mitigation and adaptation in both Africa and the work.

Nigeria

Home Institution: Ebonyi State University
Celestine Azubuike Afiukwa
Celestine Azubuike AfiukwaHost institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Area of research: Agricultural Biotechnology
Research focus: The study seeks to find Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers strongly linked to agronomic traits associated with drought tolerance in rice. The study aims to develop a protocol for applying molecular tool (marker-assisted selection) to facilitate breeding for drought resistance in Nigerian rice. The study was informed by the selection challenge our breeders face in developing improved varieties. They rely on the use of morphological (physical) markers for selection, which is not only time consuming but prone to substantial error owing to effects of environmental factors on gene expression.
Bartholomew Ituma Aleke
 Bartholomew Ituma Aleke Host institution: University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa.
Area of research: Policies and information management on climate change adaptation.
Research focus: The research focuses on adaptation of social network technologies (SNTs) and diffusion of information and communication technology (ICT) innovation as a panacea to effective strategy for disseminating information about climate change impact on agribusiness.
 
Home Institution: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
Olanrewaju Olusoji Olujimi
Olanrewaju Olusoji OlujimiHost institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Area of research: Environmental Pollution Monitoring, pollution indexing, nano-material synthesis and health risk assessment.
Research focus: The research centres on emission of greenhouse gases from charcoal production sites and associated health effects on charcoal workers.

 

Home Institution: Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
Omomowo Iyabo Olunike
Omomowo Iyabo OlunikeHost institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
Area of research: Microbial Biotechnology
Research focus: The research focuses on isolation and characterisation of fungal diversity in soils under food crop cultivation in a tropical region (south-west, Nigeria) and their response to changes in climate. The research also focuses on establishing whether the abundance of the fungal population is affected by changes in climatic conditions, as well as if establishes Koch’s postulates.
Funmilayo Grace Oni
Funmilayo Grace OniHost institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.
Area of research: Agroclimatolgy and agricultural system modelling.
Research focus: Templates building for data generation towards model calibration and validation with respect to climatic relationship in production and the prediction of the growth process and yields of groundnut.

 

Home Institution: Michael Okpara University of Agriculture
Ifeanyi Ndubuto Nwachukwu
feanyi Ndubuto NwachukwuHost institution: (OSSREA) Kenyatta University, Kenya.
Area of research: Smallholder production economics (agriculture).
Research focus: The research focuses on behavioural response of food crops producing households to climate change menace. It specifically assesses the level of awareness of climate change adaptation measures among food crops producing households in the study area; determines the level of adoption of climate change adaptation measures by the households; estimates the determinants of climate change adaptation measures adopted in the study area; analyse factors influencing the choice of adaptation measures by the households.
Home Institution: Obafemi Awolowo University
Catherine Abiola Oluwatoyin Akinbami
Catherine Abiola Oluwatoyin AkinbamiArea of research: Women entrepreneurship development, climate change and rural entrepreneurship development, entrepreneurship education.
Host institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Research focus: The research evaluates the social dimensions of climate change on Nigerian rural women entrepreneurship development; having broad objective of exploring activities of women entrepreneurs in selected rural communities from three geopolitical zones in the country that reflects distinct vegetal covers. The specific objectives are to: codify and evaluate entrepreneurship current practices in rural economies; assess impact of climate change on entrepreneurship practices in rural economies; examine and apply relevant social impact indicators to rural economies as they relate to climate change; and, consider climate change mitigation strategies that could be transformed into entrepreneurship practices in rural economies.
Abiodun Suleiman Momodu
Abiodun Suleiman MomoduHost institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Area of research: Energy Use: Electricity and Climate Change.
Research focus: Nigeria desires a transformation with adequate provision for needed infrastructure, including electricity, for development. This calls for adequate understanding of the trade-offs needed between economic growth and development on the one hand and climate change issues on the other hand. Conceptualising and implementing these trade-offs requires a systemic approach with different planning paradigms from what used to be the norm in the power sector. To achieve the same development objectives with lower future emissions the study aims to identify and test a series of mitigation options of low-carbon development options as they relate to the power sector.
Home Institution: University of Ibadan
Christiana Ndidi Egbinola
Christiana Ndidi EgbinolaHost institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Area of research: Water
Research focus: The impact of climate and land use change on water resources (surface water quantity and quality) in Sokoto Drainage basin (semi-arid Northern Nigeria).
 
 
Olawale Emmanuel Olayide
Olawale Emmanuel OlayideHost institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
Area of research: Agricultural production, climate impacts, rural and welfare economics, sustainable development.
Research focus: The study is on the impact of climate-induced production risks and mitigation measures on agricultural production in Nigeria. It seeks to provide answers to the following research questions: (i) What are the trends, level of variability of weather variables and agricultural production indices in the last four to five decades? (ii) What is the impact of climate-induced production risks (flooding incidences) on agricultural production at aggregate and sub-sectoral level? (iii) What is the impact of mitigation measures (irrigation infrastructure) on agricultural production at aggregate and sub-sectoral levels? (iv) What are the policy implications (short-term, medium-term and long-term) for sustainable agricultural production and food security in Nigeria?
Home Institution: University of Port Harcourt
Zelda Anne Elum
Zelda Anne ElumHost institution: University of South Africa, South Africa.
Area of research: Impacts of climate change on agriculture and its implication for the insurance market in South Africa.
Research focus: The research focuses on characterising the level of vulnerability of maize, cotton, orange, pineapple and apples growing regions of South Africa (specifically, Mpumalanga, North West, KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng and Free State) to climate change; the quantification of climate change impact on the selected crop growers and the implication for agriculture insurance market in these regions. The research will generate information on existing agricultural insurers in the selected regions, examine the determinants of farmers’ willingness to purchase insurance coverage and also identify the constraints faced by agricultural insurers and farmers in the demand and supply of insurance coverage.
Ifeanyi-obi, Chinwoke Clara
Ifeanyi-obi, Chinwoke ClaraHost institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Area of research: Climate change and rural and community development.
Research focus: The research focuses on identifying the constrains faced by cocoyam farmers in adapting to climate change with a view to advocate effective policies and practices that will alleviate the menace of climate change on cocoyam production. It will describe the socio-economic characteristics of the Cocoyam farmers, identify their level of awareness, information source and adaptation measures to climate change. All these are geared towards resuscitating the production of cocoyam which is almost going into extinction in Nigeria.

South Africa

University of Fort Hare
Amon Taruvinga
Amon Taruvinga Host institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Area of research: Agriculture and environmental economics.
Research focus: Rural smallholder farmers’ vulnerability and adaptation strategies to climate change for the purpose of understanding the vulnerability status of rural smallholder farmers and factors that condition their vulnerability, and appraising rural smallholder farmer driven, user friendly and tried adaptation strategies to climate change and estimate factors (socio-economic, institutional, climatic) that influence such choices as potential barriers and incentives to adaptation.
The idea is to involve the masses of rural smallholder farmers as active stakeholders in defining their adaptation strategies to climate change based on their vulnerability status rather than prescribing “blue-print” adaptation strategies using an expert driven top-down approach.

 

Keletso Mopipi
Host institution: University of South Africa.
Area of research: Rangeland ecology and management.
Research focus: Assessing farmers’ perceptions of climate variability and change, and how these changes affect communal rangelands in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The study will also assess selected communal rangelands in the Eastern Cape using both indigenous methods and conventional ecological methods.

Sudan

Home Institution: University of Kordofan
Hatim Mohamed Ahmed Elamin
Hatim MohamedHost institution: Makerere University, Uganda.
Area of research: Environmental management.
Research focus: Development of biomass model based on satellite imageries and ground data, case of Ennuhud area, West Kordodan State, Sudan
The objective of this research is to apply remote sensing data in assessing the biomass of Acacia senegal trees. Specifically, aiming at: 1) Measuring Acacia senegal trees attributes essential for biomass model. 2) Combine the remotely sensed (different remote sensing indicators) data with in situ data set to develop tree biomass models on stand level. As expected results, biomass models for the biomass of Acacia senegal trees in stand level will be developed and verified.

Tanzania

Home Institution: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences
Francis Machumi
Francis MachumiHost institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Area of research: Climate change and health, livelihoods and wellbeing.
Research focus: The research is on the impact of seasonal differences in antifungal activity and phytochemical composition of plants used to manage fungal infections in Tanzania with the view of optimising activity and proposing a potential antifungal formulation.
 
Naomi Jones Saronga
Naomi Jones SarongaHost institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Area of research: Climate change and nutrition.
Research focus: Impact of climate change on eating patterns and anaemia level of women of reproductive age in Rufiji District, Tanzania. Natural disasters due to climate changes have different impacts on livelihood of people as well as their health. Previous studies found that floods have serious impacts on crop productivity. Climate change could impact eating patterns due to food insecurity through reductions in potential yields and this can have some effects on nutrition status of individuals in the population. This study assesses the impact of climate change defined by floods in Rufiji districts on the eating pattern and micronutrient status anaemia) of women of reproductive age.
Home Institution: University of Dar es Salaam
Lucy Kassian
Lucy KassianHost Institution: Makerere University, Uganda.
Area of Research: Climate change adaptation.
Research Focus: The research focuses on climate change adaptation strategies looking on the sustainability of valley bottoms farming system as an adaptation strategy to climate change and variability in Mufindi District located in Iringa Region-Tanzania. This will be achieved through working on the following specific ideas;
• Examining local communities’ perceptions on the impacts, vulnerability of, and adaptation strategies to climate change and variability.
• Provision of scientific evidence of climate change and variability.
• Setting up the magnitude and historical trends of valley bottoms fields in the study area.
• Assessment of the environmental impacts of valley bottom farming systems in Mufindi District.

Uganda

Home Institution: Makerere University
Alex Zizinga
Alex ZizingaHost institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Area of research: Analysis of climate change impacts on major agricultural land uses, analysis of nutrient fluxes and GHG exchange between soil and atmosphere in wetland ecosystems, climate change adaptation and integrated watershed management for sustainability, food security and soil restoration for improved livelihoods.
Research focus: The research focuses on understanding climate smart technologies for improving crop yield gap, yield variability and vulnerability under changing climate in Uganda (Kiha watershed). It aims to identify different types of adaptation practices and smart technologies in different positions of the catchment within the Kiha watershed, and analysing yield gap and vulnerability of major food crops grown under selected agronomic practices and major adaptation and smart technologies practices. Finally, the study will identify climate smart agricultural practices that can be employed and evaluate the constraints, challenges and potentials for enhancing climate change adaptation and smart technologies of the study area.

Zimbabwe

Home Institution: Chinhoyi University of Technology
Olga Laiza Kupika
Olga Laiza KupikaHost institution: University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa.
Area of research: Climate change and green economy/growth transition and biodiversity management.
Research focus: The research focuses on climate change and wildlife-agriculture interface particularly the vulnerability and resilience of rural communities living adjacent to protected areas. It also studies the theoretical perspectives on climate change adaptation, mitigation and green economy/growth transition discourses within the framework of biodiversity management; green economy/growth legislative and policy reforms ; mining under green economy/growth; wildlife tourism under climate change, ICT and gender in climate change and green economy. The research will also address issues related to trends in climate change related disasters; disaster risk reduction/ disaster management focusing on rural community living within protected area margins.