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University of Embu Senior Lecturer Wins a KSh106Million Grant

A senior lecturer at the University of Embu has won KSh106Million Research Grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG).
University of Embu Vice Chancellor Prof Daniel Mugendi awards Dr Mark Otieno (left) a research grant at the University of Embu in 2022./MWINGI TIMES

Dr Mark Otieno an Agroecology lecturer in the department of Water and Agricultural Resource Management (WARMA) has placed the University in the International map after winning the award to do his investigations research on Functional Complementarity between Nocturnal and Diurnal pollinators along a land use gradient in Taita Hills biodiversity hotspots in Kenya.

The research will align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Kenya Vision 2030 which both aim to promote sustainable development and protect biodiversity.

In a report over the grant that was shared to journalists over the grant from the University the study will focus on studying the impact of human activity on pollinators and plant reproduction,which will inform sustainable agricultural practices that support biodiversity and promote food security.It will kick off in May this year to May 2026, lasting for a period of three years.

According to the report, the research will jointly be implemented by a panel of researchers from the University of Embu represented by Dr Otieno and the University of Wuerzburg in Germany represented by Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan Dewenter ,a professor of spatial ecology, plant pollinator interactions, tropical Agroecosystems and crop pollination.

Dr Marcell Peters and expert in montane biodiversity and ecology, organismic traits and ecosystem functions and land use Change will also be part of the researchers.

It is not the first time Dr Otieno is banking the award.

Last year 2022 he he was awarded as the University of Embu Researcher of the year.

After receiving the grant Dr Otieno expressed his gratitude to the DFG selection panel for the award saying the study will have a significant impact on food security in Africa by increasing the number of pollinators which is crucial for the reproduction of plant species.

Embu vice Chancellor Prof. Daniel Mugendi applauded Dr Otieno for winning the research Grant emphasizing that the grant would be a major boost in achieving the Kenya Vision 2030 and sustainable development goals .

Mugendi said the research has a potential to inform policy and agricultural practices that promote sustainable development and protect biodiversity in the entire world.

Dr Otieno holds a PhD in Agroecology from the University of Reading (UK) ,a Master of Science in Animal Ecology and a Bachelor of Education (Science) degree in Biology from Kenyatta University.


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