By Holly Davis, University of Southampton
This summer, I was awarded a research bursary by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, to investigate for 10 weeks, the growth of water hyacinth in line with agricultural and industrial expansion since the 1980’s, in Lake Victoria. To characterise hyacinth growth, I analysed remotely sensed Landsat Imagery from 1980-2011 and using vegetation indices, I calculated change over time. This was an area of research, that prior to my work, had not been investigated and I was keen to find out if current management practices were appropriate in irradiating the species, or whether there were alternative ways to remove and use the plant more effectively. I was particularly fortunate because my supervisor, Professor Justin Sheffield and his BRECcIA team had a conference arranged in Kisumu, exactly where my research was focussed, and I had the fantastic opportunity to join the team in their work, while also researching for my own project.