I am a marine ecologist with background in coastal blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves and seagrass beds) and a Masters graduate from Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium). For 4 years I was a research assistant at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), currently, I am working as a United Nations Volunteer (under UN Environment in Nairobi, Kenya) as a programme assistant in a global coral reef campaign.
Although the Major of my Master’s degree was in marine conservation and management (ecology and biology of coastal habitats), i am intrigued with marine extreme systems (deep water corals, sea mounds, vents). Furthermore, I find physical oceanography and remote sensing techniques to be very useful areas in ocean studies and given an opportunity i would like to gain experience in these topics.
For my Master thesis, I worked on mapping seagrass beds in Kenya (Gazi Bay) using optical remote sensing techniques (Landsat and Sentinel imagery). This work is currently useful in setting up suitable areas for the extension of a carbon offsetting project from mangroves (MIKOKO PAMOJA) into seagrass beds. However, the use of remote sensing tools and techniques for mapping coastal habitats is still new and limited (inadequate capacity) in Kenya. Therefore, knowledge gaps still exist in areas such as: use of acoustic techniques in mapping bottom and deep sea ocean habitats, effects of oceanography in coastal erosions and restoration projects along the coast, among others. As a matter of fact, most of the deep sea habitats in Kenya as well as in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region have not been well studied.
This programme will be a great opportunity for me to gain hands- on experience and learn more about deep sea sampling techniques as well as gain thorough insight into the fundamental principles of our oceans and the changing climate.