Cohort 3: CIRCLE Visiting Fellows


Ethiopian Institutes of Agricultural Research

mequanintMr Rettie Fasil Mequanint

Host institution: Makerere University, Department of Geography, Geo-Information and Climatic Sciences, Uganda

Area of research: Climate variability and change, seasonal prediction, crop modelling

Research focus: Despite a number of limitations to be clearly understood, the value of the application of climate prediction in agriculture under current and future climates is evident. With the availability of climate predictions produced by several global climate models (GCMs) in the past decade, multi-model ensemble (MME) techniques have been developed to improve the accuracy in seasonal predictions by reducing uncertainties associated with individual models. The main purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the potential use of seasonal forecasts downscaled from a GCM and therefore improve the current seasonal precipitation forecast system.

Hawassa University

emiruMr Nega Chalie Emiru

Host institution: University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Area of research: Water and climate

Research focus: Awash is one of the main rivers in Ethiopia and is the only river where the flow remains within the country. Due to climate change, frequent drought, and unexpected high rainfall, floods have become a common phenomenon in the basin. In order to manage and mitigate against the impacts of climate change and variability, detailed studies of the changes and the resulting effects are necessary. This will help policy makers develop appropriate water resource policies that consider future climate change and ensure sustainable use of the resource.

Mekelle University

Dr Fana HagosBerhane

Host institution: Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Area of research: Climate Change Laws and Policy, Gender

Research focus: The objective of this postdoctoral research project is to analyse the extent to which gender differences are taken into account in the development of policies and laws on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ethiopia, and to investigate the opportunities, challenges and progress being made toward mainstreaming gender into all climate-change protection systems in the country. The research will also investigate the institutional and political context under which laws and policies relating to climate change are developed and implemented in Ethiopia, as well as the gender approaches employed at different administrative levels of the government.

GebremedhinMrs Tigist Kibru Gebremedhin

Host institution: University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana

Area of research: Farmer-managed natural regeneration across different agro-ecologies, tree species diversity, farmers' perception about climate change and climate smart agricultural practices.

Research focus: Following the success of the Humbo project, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) spread to the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia where 20,000 hectares have been set aside for regeneration, including 10 hectare FMNR model sites for research and demonstration in each of 34 sub-districts. In addition, the Government of Ethiopia has committed to reforest 15 million hectares of degraded land using FMNR by 2025. However, there is still a lack of research on FMNR and perception of farmers on climate smart agricultural practices in the Tigray area, which this research project will seek to address.

Wollo University

Mulat Girma MulukenMr Mulat Girma Muluken

Host institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Area of research: Climate change and Small holder Farmers Aspiration

Research focus: Poverty and food insecurity remain major challenges of smallholder farmers in developing nations. Though previous studies focused on the external factors (resource related) for the perpetuation of poverty, internal factors like aspiration failure are also found to play their own role. Thus, solving both the resource (external) factors, as well as the internal constraints, would have paramount significance in tackling these challenges.

However, limited research has been done on how the individual aspiration is formed. Indeed, two processes are pointed out to form individual aspiration level: past experiences and comparison with important others. Here it is hypothesised that past experience of climate shocks, as stimuli, can play a role in the aspiration formation of smallholder farers. Thus, in this research, the impact of previous climate-related shocks on the aspiration formation of farmers and its gender perspective will be assessed. In doing so, it will serve as a point of departure to frame an intervention option that differs from resource-oriented past endeavours to tackle poverty and food insecurity. Beneficiaries of the output would be smallholder farmers and also the research and academic community.


Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

baduDr (Mrs) Mercy Badu

Host institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Area of research: Natural products chemistry

Research focus: This project seeks to take inventory of the different species of drought resistant oilseed bearing plants found in the northern savannah zone of Ghana and Nigeria. These plants consistently grow under high drought conditions within the savannah zone. The plants have adapted to the harsh climatic conditions and may withstand the worse scenarios of rising temperatures due to climatic changes. Hence they can support food security and malnutrition in this era of climate change.

Ewusi-MensahDr Nana Ewusi-Mensah

Host institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Area of research: Soil health and plant nutrition; legume adaptation to climate change.

Research focus: The use of microbial inoculants has gradually gained high popularity in an increasingly eco-conscious world and can be used to promote healthy crops. However, establishing biochar-inoculant integration as a climate smart option for legume production requires that best fit technologies are developed for end-users. Thus, this study seeks to investigate the synergism of enhanced N biochar and rhizobium inoculants on soil nutrient availability and soybean yield.

NyadanuDr Daniel Nyadanu

Host institution: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Area of research: Breeding for drought tolerance in cocoa; climate change scenarios in cocoa growing areas in Ghana.

Research focus: This research aims to characterise climate change scenarios in cocoa growing regions of Ghana and to evaluate selected local and international clones of cocoa for drought resistance at seedling stage under natural and managed stress conditions. The study will seek to understand the basis of drought resistance in cocoa at seedling stage and select promising cocoa genotypes for drought resistance. At the end of this research it is expected that drought tolerant cocoa varieties would be available for adaptation to climate change, and an efficient and rapid method for mass evaluation of cocoa genotypes for drought tolerance will be developed.

Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI)

AkuffobeaMs Mavis Akuffobea

Host institution: University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Area of research: Climate Variability, Green Technologies and Environmental Conservation, Innovation Studies and Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

Research focus: The negative effects of climate variability affect lives and livelihoods of the various social groups differently due to gender inequality caused by social roles and responsibilities, social status, economic power, and access to – and control over – resources. This study assesses the gendered impacts of climate change on livelihoods of people living in protected areas in Ghana. It aims to understand how the various gender groups are differently impacted by climate variability, the adaptation strategies they employ and their capacities from a gender perspective in terms of opportunities and challenges to better adapt to climate variability.

University for Development Studies

Mr Gordon Dandeebo

Host institution: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania

Area of research: Health Systems Development, Maternal and Child Health, Community Participation in Health, Partnerships in Health, Climate Change and Community Health.

Research focus: This study seeks to explore the plausibility of using community-based health structures in managing the health risks of climate variability through effective public health and healthcare strategies. If existing community-based health structures were developed and strengthened they could play an effective role in building the adaptive capacity of vulnerable rural communities to the impact of climate variability. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate the strategies and the methods that are used, and can be used, to integrate community health structures so they correspond to the skills required for future surveillance activities and retrospective datasets with respect to climate change.


International Livestock Research Institute

Dr Caroline Bosire

Host institution: University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Area of research: Ecology, Agriculture, Natural resource management, climate adaptation.

Research focus: In many areas, freshwater and land limitations are already restricting agricultural production due to climate change conditions and the demand for natural resources will increase as a result of agricultural development. It is particularly important for smallholder farmers to adapt to a changed climatic environment. I expect that my research will influence policy in climate change adaptation by providing the biophysical constraints associated with farmers' adaptations. This will provide tangible evidence of the pros and cons of policies towards farmer adaptation on natural resource demand.

Kenyatta University

Dr Joseph Kathiai Kurauka

Host institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Area of research: Agroforestry-Based Bioenergy Systems, Renewable energy, Climate Change Studies, Natural Resource Management.

Research focus: Despite strong evidence linking the benefits of agroforestry with community livelihoods, there is a lack of studies linking farmers' initiatives in renewable energy within the agroforestry system. This research will provide useful information on domesticating appropriate tree species that have commercial successes in energy generation through community tree-based bioenergy innovations. It will match the best models with community perspectives and investor needs to identify and develop feasible tree-based food-energy systems. It will provide communication channels to a wide range of stakeholders and document the economic potential of these systems as compared to other available energy resources.


Ebonyi State University

Dr Dimphna Ezikanyi

Host institution: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science , Tanzania

Area of research: Aeropalynology, Climate change, Immunology.

Research focus: My present research focuses on studying the spatial distribution and abundance of airborne pollen and spores across different climatic regions in Nigeria, to elucidate how climatic variables impact on airborne pollen and spores in different seasons (wet and dry seasons). The relationship between these variables and airborne pollen and spores, and also medical data on allergies will be studied. This will enable atopic patients and the general public to take a prophylactic adaptive approach and reduce exposure to them at their risk periods.

Federal University Of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Dr Adefunke Ayinde

Host institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Area of research: Farmers' Perception on Climate Variation; Climate Variation Adaptation Strategies; Arable Crops; Capacity building for Women and Youth; Government Intervention on Climate Variation

Research focus: My research is aimed at examining cassava farmers' perception levels, the causes and effects of climate variability in the rain forest and derived savannah ecosystems of Nigeria, adaptation strategies put in place by small scale farmers and the government, and an examination of the influence of women and youth (successor generations of farmers) in decision making on adaptation to climate variability. The study will also focus on farmers' livelihood changes effected by climate variability among others.

Dr Adebukunola Olufunmilayo Lala

Host institution: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology, Ghana

Area of research: Pig production and climate change

Research focus: The study aims to explore nutritional strategies with the use of synthetic amino acids (lysine, methionine, tryptophan, and threonine) and phytase to reduce greenhouse emissions, by reducing nitrous oxide (NO2) and methane (CH4) in the manure of pigs.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology

Dr Olukunle Olaonipekun Oladapo

Host institution: Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Area of research: Climate change, ionising radiation, modelling, agricultural productivity and agricultural policy.

Research focus: In Nigeria and most African countries, probably due to low awareness, the capability of radon being used as tools and indicators has not been widely explored, most especially in agricultural planning for yield improvement, in which soil moisture determination plays a key role. Hence, this study seeks to use the relationship between fluctuations in the atmospheric radon concentration, as impacted by changes in climatic parameters, as a tool for modelling variations in soil moisture content in the study area.

Dr (Mrs) Folasade Mary Owoade

Host institution: University Of Ghana, Ghana

Area of research: Estimating carbon sequestration potentials of some land-use systems.

Research focus: Conversion to restorative land use and adoption of best management practices must be integral to any strategy of mitigating climate change. Against this background, this study will explore how land use impacts on the soil carbon of soils located in the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions of Ghana and what the carbon sequestration potentials of soils are in these areas. It will examine the management requirements needed to replenish the carbon stocks of the soil and the socio-economic framework within which small-scale land users could be encouraged to participate in soil carbon sequestration schemes for climate change mitigation.

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture

Miss Lilian Ifeoma Ezenwa

Host institution: Moi University, Kenya

Area of research: Climate change, pollution control, environmental (soil and plants) Conservation

Research focus: Though women form a large share of the poor in developing countries, women in rural areas are highly dependent on local natural resources for their livelihood. It is therefore imperative that a gender analysis be applied to all actions on climate change so that women and men's specific needs and priorities are identified and addressed. This study will explore the different ways men and women respond to and are able to cope with drought in Baringo county, a drought prone area of Kenya, and the differences in how they are able to move from short-term coping strategies to resilience.

Mrs Geraldine Ogechukwu Ibe

Host institution: University for Development Studies, Ghana

Area of research: Study of forest food species in the tropics, savannah and mangrove forests.

Research focus: This research will be of great influence to the policy and/or practice of climate change mitigation efforts in Abia State of Nigeria and the forest ecologies of West Africa. The study will identify the key impacts of climate variability on the poverty and food security of rural forest farmers, and in the rural economies of target communities. It will also highlight the significant role non-timber forest food (NTFF) products play in the total forest farmers' economy, poverty, and food security, as well as indicate how the NTFFs are affected by climate change variability.
Obafemi Awolowo University

Dr Kehinde Olayinka Popoola

Host institution: Moi University, Kenya

Area of research: Gender studies, rural and social planning

Research focus: The findings of this study will provide benchmark data on the perceived climate variability impact related to livelihood activities of the rural aged and their indigenous coping strategies in the different ecological zones of Nigeria. This will contribute to the improvement of their coping strategies and integration into national developmental plans, enabling better adaptation to climate change impact in Nigeria, which can be used as a template in other West African Rural Communities.

University of Ibadan

Dr Taiwo Babatunde Hammed

Host institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Area of research: My research interests span areas such as: municipal waste management, hazardous waste management, and sewage treatment.

Research focus: The aim of this study is to assess litter generation and management processes in a community and train members on energy and resource recovery for climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability. It is expected that at the end of this study there would be behavioural change among community members towards litter management practices that promote climate change adaptation or mitigation, capacity building in the area of litter prevention and energy recovery from litter, community development, efficient energy use and well-being.

Dr Afusat Jagun Jubril

Host institution: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Area of research: Enviromental toxicology, veterinary pathology, ecotoxicity in fish.

Research focus: This study will focus on the level and components of endocrine disrupting chemical pollutants and its associated pathology, as well as its effect on adaptation to global warming using tilapia as a model. One intended outcome of the study is that tilapia can be used as sentinel species to determine the choice of urban water to be used for fishing and other agricultural practices. Such information would be relevant to public health professionals as well as agriculturist/fish farmers.

Dr Oyediran Olusegun Oyebola

Host institution: Makerere University, Uganda

Area of research: Aquaculture, inland and marine fisheries management, climate change, fish genetics and breeding, nutri-genomics and fish biotechnology

Research focus: The study is expected to produce information on farmer's knowledge, vulnerability and indigenous resilience to climate change, climate change induced flooding, and fish farm invasion by alien fishes including Clarias gariepinus strains in response to impact of climate change. It will also generate baseline holistic genomic tools for monitoring, control and surveillance of C. gariepinus in cases of climate change induced invasion.

University of Port Harcourt

Dr Sandra Ofori

Host institution: University of Ghana, Ghana

Area of research: Health and livelihoods

Research focus: In this study, short-term exposure-response relationships between indoor air pollutants and markers of CVD will be sought by monitoring the daily average household concentration of PM 2.5 and assessing CVD risk factors, including blood pressure and carotid intima media thickness in the study population. The findings may form a basis for advocating for the use of cleaner fuels or modification of cook stoves and fireplaces, and stimulate inter-sectorial collaboration between CVD and environmental scientists, cook stove design engineers, and policymakers.
South Africa

University of Fort Hare

Dr Tendayi Clotilda Garutsa

Host institution: Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe

Area of research: Climate change, gender, vulnerabilities, Indigenous knowledge, rural development

Research focus: Treating gender as the primary cause of vulnerability produces a narrow analysis making other social markers (age, types of households, income, and ethnicity) analytically invisible. Against this background this study aims to explore variable vulnerabilities to climate change adaptation, within and between genders amongst the Kalanga and Shona ethnic groups in Zimbabwe. Through its envisaged findings the study will have recommendations that can influence climate change and policy, and augment climate change consultations in Zimbabwe to realise pro-poor policy interventions which respond to gender needs effectively.

Dr Addmore Tapfuma Muruviwa

Host institution: Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Area of research: Climate change and human health.

Research focus: This research will engage rural women stationed at Chingwizi Transit Camp, Zimbabwe, who are victims of extreme events. Such first-hand experiences will provide a strong case for a multi-stakeholder, qualitative, and participatory approach to identifying and assessing vulnerability and risks, while enhancing the capacity of local areas to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will give a clear understanding of the magnitude and timing of the impacts of climate change on women's health, how women and their community cope with current and predicted changes, and what public institutions should do to actively support adaptation and mitigation.

Dr Kenneth Nhundu

Host institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Area of research: Climate change issues, renewable energy food and nutrition security, agricultural and rural development, new institutional economics, agricultural water resources management, waste management and recycling.

Research focus: A large section of population in South Africa do not have basic access to energy and are dependent on biomass, paraffin, and candles. Therefore, it is envisioned that the deployment of renewable energy technologies can be a way of mitigating social and economic development, energy access, and secure energy supply, and reducing negative impacts on the environment and people's health. The development and transition to solar energy will align with provincial priorities, such as youth employment etc. It is expected that the outcome of my research shall mainly benefit the marginalised rural communities of the Eastern Cape Province.


University of Kordofan

Ms Zobida Habib

Host institution: University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Area of research: Climate change adaptation

Research focus: My research focuses on the socioeconomic impacts of climate smart agriculture intervention on small scale farmers in North Kordofan, Sudan. Studying the socioeconomics, adaptation, and opportunities for further use of these new technologies is interesting for all stakeholders involved in climate smart agriculture, including researchers, academicians, policy makers, development practitioners, as well as farmers.


Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

Mr Heribert R Kaijage

Host Institution: University of Ghana, Ghana

Area of research: Environmental health, climate change resilience, mitigation and adaptation measures, disaster risk reduction

Research focus: Using the household as a unit of measurement, this study is aiming to construct a household climate-resilient composite index for the health sector. The study will use existing data and proxy indicators of climate change computed from Remote Sensing (RS) images. A comparative study among selected regions will be conducted and household resilience index maps will be generated at different spatial and time scales. It is expected that study results and the output methodological approach will enhance national capacities to effectively discover the strengths and limitations of the demographic, and health surveys in the field of climate change resilience evaluation.

Mr Jackson Thomas Mollel

Host Institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Area of research: Control of infectious diseases and investigating biological activities of natural products.

Research focus: Bacteriophage infecting V. cholerae (vibriophages) is a biological factor known to impart a natural control and evolution of V. cholerae. There is mounting evidence that vibriophages in water bodies down-regulates the prevalence of V. cholerae and eventually decrease re-emergence of cholera outbreaks. Despite such an important association, the impact of climatic conditions on vibriophages remains unknown. The present study aims to assess the effects of climatic conditions on vibriophages and establish its association with seasonal variation of V. cholerae in water bodies in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.

University of Dar es Salaam

Dr Esther Mvungi

Host Institution: University of Cape Town, South Africa

Area of research: My research interest is centred in understanding how plants respond to both abiotic and biotic stressors

Research focus: Regardless of their valuable services, seagrass survival is threatened by a multitude of stressors caused by an ever increasing human population and increased anthropogenic activities along the coastal areas, which contribute to the climate change variability seen in present days. Thus in order to understand how multiple stressors affect the seagrass ecosystem, this study will investigate how anthropogenic induced ocean acidification, temperature, and nutrient enrichment affect the performance of seagrass Zostera capensis from the west coast of South Africa.

Dr Verdiana Tindichebwa Tilumanywa

Host Institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Area of research: Environmental analysis; environmental change; Analysis and management of special environments (mountains, drylands); livelihoods; tourism and development

Research focus: Agricultural support services are important in bringing about resilience to the effect of climate variation in agriculture. However, agricultural support services in Tanzania are inadequate for farmers to get timely information on extension, marketing, transport, input supply, credit, storage, processing and weather information services. The research will identify and document areas of agricultural support services needed by smallholder farmers and suggest ways of improving them towards climate variation adaptation. Farmers organisations appropriate for enhancing access to agricultural support services and adaptive capacity to climate variation will be identified and encouraged.


Makerere University

Dr John Richard Otukei

Host institution: University of Ghana, Ghana

Area of research: coming soon

Research focus: coming soon


Chinhoyi University of Technology

Ms Varaidzo Chinokwetu

Host institution: University of South Africa, South Africa

Area of research: Climate change adaptation, environmental sustainability, policy and livelihoods

Research focus: This research seeks to understand the perceptions of small holder farmers to climate change and the determinants of adaptive capacities in a livelihood approach. The research will generate contextual information to inform adaptation policies, strategies and measures. Interventions would then be designed based on an understanding of how different factors interact in the environment in which farmers struggle to adapt and survive. The ultimate goal is to have an inventory of effective adaptation strategies and related institutional contexts that drive towards perceived sustainable adaptation.

Mr Beaven Utete

Host institution: University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Area of research: Fisheries and water resources in peri-urban areas

Research focus: This research will explore the food security, resilience and adaptive capacity of fisheries resources and fishing livelihood-dependent communities in the face of climate change in a peri-urban lake system. The underlying objective is to investigate the impact of climatic factors (rainfall and temperature) on the water resources, and determine their translative impacts on fisheries and the vulnerability of fishing livelihood-dependent communities in a peri-urban lake set up. It is hoped hirtherto neglected peri-urban small scale inland fisheries will get the necessary mainline governmental support and are recognised as unique viable enterprises.