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Research Institution

The University of Nairobi (UoN) is the oldest and largest public University in Kenya. It is constituted of six colleges: College of Architecture and Engineering, College of Health Sciences. College of Biological and Physical Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences and College of Education and External Studies. The UoN is a research-intensive university with a reputation for excellence and a strong and vibrant research culture which is recognized for its impact and relevance to the region.

Who We Are

The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) is located at the College of Biological and Physical Sciences. The School of Biological Sciences is an interdisciplinary with 41 academic staff whose specialisation are on botanical and zoological sciences with a focus on plants and animals, microorganisms and the environment and its applications. The School of Biological Sciences is a Center of Excellence in environmental, biological and biotechnological research, and in training, innovation and dissemination of knowledge in the region and abroad.

Our Own Experience

Research and developmental works at the school is geared towards contribution to food safety and security as well as sustainable use of environmental resources, biodiversity and environmental conservation. Identification and management of plant and animal disease causing pathogens and microorganisms in food safety is at the center of research at the School. Recent works and collaboration in the field of food security and safety has been with the national government agencies and the World Food Program.

Sheila Okoth

I am associate professor of Botany at UNISS. I have over 25 years of research experience on fungal research: fungal plant diseases, fungal metabolites and food safety. I established the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited Mycotoxin Laboratory located at Center of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (CEBIB), University of Nairobi. I have attracted and coordinated several international and regional research grants such as the ‘Sustainable Management of Below Ground Biodiversity’ project funded by UNEP- GEF, involving seven developing countries: Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda - I was the national coordinator of the Kenya chapter.

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From 2010 – 2018, I was Co-P1 in Government of Finland Grant for the project ‘Building capacity to improve safety in the feed – dairy chain, with special focus on health risks associated with biological contaminants. I will lead UoN team in this project and will be actively involved in all the WPs, especially WP1, WP2, WP3, and WP6.

Beneah Mutsotso

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I am a Senior Research Scientist at the Botany department of the National Museums of Kenya, I have over 30 years’ experience in plant adaptation and restoration, and plant and fungal conservation science in agro-ecosystems and natural habitats. I have expertise in Botany, beneficial fungi and soil fertility. I worked at CIAT for 9 yrs implementing projects in integrated soil fertility focusing on soil biology component in banana systems of East and Central Africa and evaluating microbial commercial products in Africa. I also worked at ICRAF Malawi in beneficial fungal communities and soil fertility in agroforestry systems.

I have wide experience in restoration of degraded lands and conservation of plant species. I am involved in mushroom research and their role as food sources and decomposer and the biogeography of mycorrhizal fungi, soil adaptations and inoculum production.

Joyce Mnyazi Jefwa

I am a Senior Research Scientist at the Botany department of the National Museums of Kenya, I have over 30 years’ experience in plant adaptation and restoration, and plant and fungal conservation science in agro-ecosystems and natural habitats. I have expertise in Botany, beneficial fungi and soil fertility. I worked at CIAT for 9 yrs implementing projects in integrated soil fertility focusing on soil biology component in banana systems of East and Central Africa and evaluating microbial commercial products in Africa. I also worked at ICRAF Malawi in beneficial fungal communities and soil fertility in agroforestry systems.

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I have wide experience in restoration of degraded lands and conservation of plant species. I am involved in mushroom research and their role as food sources and decomposer and the biogeography of mycorrhizal fungi, soil adaptations and inoculum production. 

Peter M. Wachira

I am a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi with 10 years’ experience in research works in Microbiology and specifically in mycology. My research experience and interests range from soil biodiversity monitoring and evaluation, effect of land use change on soil diversity, crop protection, soil nematodes and nematode destroying fungi. I have worked with and trained several small-scale farmers in different parts of Kenya on crop yield improvement and value addition especially on bananas and other crops. One example is the ‘Deployment of natural enemies in the ‘attract and kill’ approach for sustainable management of the banana weevil’ in Maragwa, Kenya. I will be involved in WP2, WP3, WP5.

Ouko Abigael

I am lecturer of Genetics at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, with 2 years’ experience. I did my PhD research project with the CYMMIT funded project on breeding of maize for resistance to Aspergillus and Fusarium infection and accumulation of aflatoxins and fumonisins. I will be involved in WP1, WP2, WP3, and WP6.