The Team

BRECcIA comprises 6 Universities located in 4 countries (UK, Malawi, Kenya and Ghana), and partnerships with 8 international organisations, working on research and capacity development in the coupled areas of water and food security


Kenyatta University


Chris Shisanya is Full Professor of Agroclimatology in the Department of Geography at Kenyatta University. Prof. Shisanya earned his B.ED (Science) (Hons) degree at the University of Nairobi and his MSc. in Climatology at Kenyatta University and PhD in Agroclimatology at Trier University, Germany. He has worked in the Department of Geography at Kenyatta University since 1988. His current areas of research interest include: climate change and adaptation, climate change and human development, climate change and security, integrated soil fertility management, integrated watershed management and systems analysis. He is a prolific researcher having won over 45 national and international research grant awards. He has over 80 peer-reviewed Journal publications and 10 book titles. He serves on the Editorial Boards of various Academic Scientific Journals. He has successfully implemented two EU-funded projects. Recently, he completed co-authoring the UNDP funded 7THKenya National Human Development Report with the theme “Climate Change and Human Development: Harnessing Opportunities“.

Associate Professor

Joy Obando is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Kenyatta University Kenya. She is a Co-Investigator in the BRECcIA Project. She is involved in research, training and community outreach. She has facilitated and mentored early career scientists through grant writing activities. Currently her research focuses on watershed management and water (in) security. She is involved in mentoring initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of the next generation of academicians.


Dr. Fiona Wairimu Ngarachu

Post-doctoral research fellow

Fiona works on the BRECcIA project in Kenyatta University under the policy and capacity building theme. The key focus in her current role is to undertake research that helps us to understand policy making agendas, processes and mechanisms concerning food and water security in Kenya, Malawi and Ghana. Fiona is also the Kenya stakeholder country coordinator working with a number of partners to ensure that stakeholder priorities are integrated within the project. One of the ways Fiona is doing this is by responding to identified policy makers’ needs for capacity around food and water security policy by conducting a capacity needs assessment as well as co-designing an intervention to address the policy makers’ capacity gaps. Fiona has previously conducted both qualitative and quantitative research around refugee resettlement and reproductive health.

King's College London

Reader of Development Geography

Dr Kate Schreckenberg is a researcher with a special interest in natural resource governance and the institutional arrangements that deliver equitable and just development. She works predominantly with mixed methods, including participatory research techniques, value chain approaches, household surveys and natural resource inventories.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology


Read BRECcIA’s testimony to John here.

Prof. John Obiri had over two decades of experiences in research leadership, natural resource management, conflict/disaster risk reduction and environmental conservation in Africa.

He worked for the government, private organisations and universities in four different countries – Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa and the United Kingdom.

John was a member of various global professional organisations and was a trained and practising auditor in ISO 9001/2015 (international quality management standards); and an accredited lead expert in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Kenya.

Until his passing in 2021, John was the Director of the Directorate of Postgraduate Studies (Graduate School) at MMUST, Kenya. Previously he worked as a Project Manager at the University of Wales, Bangor (UK), Programme Coordinator at University of Natal (South Africa) and Research Officer at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute. His latest research interests were on disaster risk reduction, climate change, research management and the development of early career researchers.

Edward Mugalavai

Dr. Edward M. Mugalavai

Dr. Edward M. Mugalavai is an Environmental Earth Scientist. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Disaster Management and Sustainable Development of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). He has a PhD in Environmental Earth Sciences and over 13 years teaching experience at University level. He has carried out extensive research on environmental issues biased to Climatology, Climate Variability, Climate Change and Food Security. He has been involved in projects funded both locally and externally as PI and Co-PI.  He is a registered Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit Lead Expert (EIA/EA) and has been involved in numerous projects including World Bank funded projects in western Kenya. He has undertaken several international trainings in research management. He’s registered under the following pages on ResearchGate and Google Scholar. Researcher ID: AAH-8980-2021 (Publons); ORCID:

Kaleb Mwendwa Adamba

Senior Lecturer and Director

Kaleb is a trained Forester (Bsc. Forestry, MPhil. Forestry/Soil Science) and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education with extensive skills in Agroforestry, Soil Science, Disaster Management and Marine Sciences. Ideally Kaleb would like to contribute to the project in terms of Publications, Resilience Research, Disaster Risk Assessments, networking skills and lessons learnt through varied research experiences. He has been working as a research scientist for 14 years with Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), International Organisations, as well as Community Mobilization and\or Stakeholder Engagements, training others especially in Participatory Research Methods. He is involved in teaching a range of courses at both Graduate and Undergraduate levels: examples include: Fundamentals of GIS, Global Climate change & Africa, Management & Conservation of Tropical Forests, Ecology, Conservation & Management,  EIA, Environmental Education, Techniques in Bioresources Management, Forests and Wildlife, Ecotourism, Biodiversity & Ecology. Kaleb is a Fellow of International Atomic Energy Agency/FAO, American Association of Geographers and the International Ocean Institute.

Dr. Namenya Daniel Naburi

Post Doctorate Research Fellow

Dr. Namenya Daniel Naburi, Climate change, Environment, Disaster Management and Sustainable Development enthusiast, was a Post Doctorate Research Fellow with the BRECcIA project. Namenya over the past 14 years has been involved in various research projects in environment, social development, governance, public participation and decentralised public administration applying qualitative and quantitative research methods. He has vast experience as an environment and development research consultant having worked for various International Non-Governmental Organisations and Government of Kenya donor-funded projects in the Drylands/Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of Kenya. He has also successfully implemented research projects in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania in addition to the BRECcIA project countries (Malawi and Ghana). 

His research interest in the BRECcIA project was on the analysis of trends in climate change, land use and cover changes, watershed governance and its implications on food security; socio-ecological impacts of Prosopis Juliflora plant species on pastoralism livelihoods with special interest to measurable indicators of adaptive capacity, governance and co-management in the drylands river basins. His contributions were also acknowledged in other Large Research Projects (LRPs), Small Research Projects (SRPs), policy stakeholders’ engagements, and community capacity building forums in the project. Namenya continue to engage in post- BRECcIA project activities and networks including ReMNet and DryNet. Currently, he is a senior lecturer in community development at Africa Nazarene University, Kenya; he also consults in infrastructure projects as an environmental safeguards specialist in Kenya. 

He is a registered member with the; Christian and Scientific Association of Kenya (CSA-K), Association of Disaster Management and Conflict Resolution of Kenya (ADMCRK), Environmental Institute of Kenya (EIK), licensed Lead Expert in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental Audit (EA) with the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya (NEMA-K). He is registered under the following links: ORCID:; Web of Science ResearcherID: ADE-9210-2022, 


Technical University of Kenya

Dr Luke Olang

Department of Biosystems and Environmental Engineering, Senior Lecturer and Researcher

Dr Luke Olang is a Senior Lecturer whose teaching and research interests are in the area of hydrological studies that attempt to quantify human impacts within the coupled water resource systems, including translation of the derived knowledge to improve policy and management. In the last decade, a number of national and regional collaborative research and capacity building projects on Drought and Flood Risk Management, Water- Energy -Food Nexus, and on Climate Change Adaptation have been undertaken. Ongoing projects initiatives include:
• [as PI] – Drought Early Warning Systems for integrated drought risk management (a) in Kenya. Funded by the National Research Fund of Kenya in the Greater Horn of Africa. Funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Deutschland.
• [as coPI] – Capacity building on the Water-Energy-Food security Nexus through research and training in Kenya and Uganda. Funded by the Austrian Development cooperation through the OeAD.
• [as coPI] – Flood Resilience in Slums: Community-Responsive Adaptation in Kibera -Nairobi, Kenya. Funded by the Swedish Research Council (SRC).
• [as coPI] – GCRF – Building REearch Capacity for sustainable water and food security In drylands of sub-saharan Africa (BRECcIA). Funded by Natural Environment Research Council, UK.
Within the frameworks of some of the ongoing projects, seven PhD students are presently being supported and supervised to undertake their studies.


Dr. Robert Nilson Wayumba is a Lecturer in the School of Surveying and Geospatial Sciences at the Technical University of Kenya. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Otago in New Zealand, a Master of Science in Land Management from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and a Bachelor of Science in Surveying from the University of Nairobi. His research interests are in the development of Land Information Systems (LIS). He has participated in various projects on the use of Geographic Information Systems in Eastern Africa. He is a full member of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya and is active in the Eastern Africa Land Administration Network (EALAN). Robert brings a wealth of experience to the project and hopes to see how the project will bring about positive social change.

Francis Oloo

Post-doctoral Researcher

Francis Oloo is an expert in Geographic Information Science with interest in the application of GIS, Remote Sensing and Spatial simulation models in understanding, representing and addressing socio-spatial vulnerabilities in Africa. Francis has had a progressive experience of more than 15 years in the application of multidisciplinary aspects of geospatial methods to support decision making in agronomy, land health and land degradation monitoring, estimation of aboveground biomass, water resource mapping and community-based resource planning. Francis is also a lecturer in geoinformatics and current (2022-2023) acting Director of the School of Surveying and Spatial Sciences at the Technical University of Kenya. In addition, Francis is an Adjunct lecturer at iLabAfrica, Strathmore University. Outside academia, Francis is a co-founder and mentor at GeoPsy Research where he leads in capacity building and development of geospatial solutions to address questions in water, energy and health sectors and supports various non-profit organizations in mapping and visualizing their work in various geo-communication platforms.


Jannet Atieno Ondulo

Senior Assistant Registrar Officer

Jannet Atieno Ondulo is a result oriented professional and experienced Administrator with over 20 years’ experience in administration and leadership Programmes.  She is the Senior Assistant Registrar Officer of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Research & Students (DVC-ARS).  She primarily co-ordinates and supports the management, administrative and logistical work in the DVC-ARS’ Office/Academic Divisionand also theTechnical University of Kenya (TU-K) BRECcIA Project Administrator in charge of co-ordination of BRECcIA activities at TU-K. Jannet  has wide experience gained from working with International Development Agencies on delivery of quality education programmes on Integrated Water Resources Management; Governance, Justice, Law and Order issues.

Sospeter Simiyu Wekesa

Research Assistant

Sospeter Wekesa is a Hydrologist with an interest in understanding the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic activities on dryland hydrology. Sospeter has over 6 years of professional experience in hydrology and integrated water resources management in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Specifically, he has wide experience in modelling and assessing the hydrological impacts of water projects on the environment. Currently, Sospeter is a Research Assistant in the BRECcIA Project at the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab, Technical University of Kenya. Academically, Sospeter holds an MSc in Water Science and Engineering (with a specialisation in hydrology and water resources) from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands and a BSc in Water Engineering from Kenyatta University, Kenya.
University of Ghana

Research Officer

Moses Asamoah will assist in collection, storage and analysis of data support and development of simple programs for the BRECcIA project and liaising between BRECcIA partners and stakeholders.  He will also assist in dissemination and publication of research findings from the project.  He is the BRECcIA Ghana Resilience Theme and Risk working group representative.

Prior to his current role, he was involved in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) focusing on health, specifically maternal, adolescent and child health. He collaborated with other agencies and stakeholders in implementing some interventions to improve maternal and infant survival. He gained experience in co-ordinating and organising community based interventions.

Stakeholder Co-ordinator

I have three years’ experience in managing climate change and development projects with funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and hosted by the Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana namely ‘DEltas, vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation’ (DECCMA) and the (Cities and Climate Change) Climate Smart Integrated Flood Management Projects. These are international projects focused on climate change, migration and adaptation in the Volta delta and flood risks management in Cities respectively. I therefore managed communications with the Consortium of participating institutions from India, Bangladesh and the UK team under DECCMA as well as among work packages within the Ghana team for both projects. The nature of my work makes it inevitable to collaborate with other team members within the country or outside towards the attainment of the project goals. Prior to this, I managed coalitions of individuals and organisations working on governance and climate change from a gender perspective as well as managed projects related to these fields for seven years. I currently work as the BRECcIA Ghana team’s Stakeholder Coordinator.

University of Malawi

Prof Maurice Monjerezi

Department of Chemistry, Associate Professor

Dr Maurice Monjerezi is an Associate Professor in Chemistry at the University of Malawi, Malawi. His research activities are on applied chemistry in the broad fields of the environment and food: (i) water and soil quality assessments to understand how changes in climate, hydro-biogeochemical processes, and anthropogenic pressure influence quality of ground- and surface water resources; and (ii) food chemistry, safety, and processing. He received the 2014 African Union-The World Academy of Sciences (AU-TWAS) Young Scientists National Award in the Earth and Life Sciences category. His current research projects include “Climate change and ecosystems management in Malawi and Tanzania” funded by the NORAD, Norway. He is also Deputy Centre Leader for the Centre for Resilient Agri-food Systems (CRAFS) at the University of Malawi, which is established under the World Bank funded African Centres of Excellences (ACEs) project.


Frank Musa

Research Assistant

Frank Musa is a Research Assistant – Environmental Anthropology for the BRECcIA project at the University of Malawi. His main interest is in environmental management and climate change. Most recently he worked for the Malawi Government as a research fellow under Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development, responsible for climate change related research. Previously he also worked as a lead data officer for the ResilientAfrica Network project (RAN) that was implemented in Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The project focused on collecting and analysing qualitative data to understand the resilience dimension of households vulnerable to the impacts of floods and prolonged dry spells. He is conversant with mixed methods in social research as well as qualitative and quantitative data analysis. 


Ellasy Chimimba

Research Assistant

Ellasy Chimimba is a research assistant in Earth Observation with BRECcIA. She is particularly interested to applying geology in improving agriculture production. Ellasy has also experience in geostatistical modelling. She was part of the research team that did an assessment to find out if climate smart agricultural practices were having an impact on improving maize production, in central Malawi. She also worked in a mine as a geologist in mineral resource and geology modelling, and was involved in carrying out some research, more of finding quick solutions to specific mine problems. Also a lecturer in Earth Sciences at Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).


Henry Hunga

Research Assistant

Henry Hunga is a Research Assistant/Ph.D. Student (Early Career Researcher) with BRECcIA at University of Malawi, Chancellor College. He has implemented a number of projects for the past 12 years from on-farm/station research to outreach and capacity building of extension staff in aquaculture and agriculture (Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique). Of late he has developed interest on how research may inform policy formulation and implementation and help build resilience of agricultural production systems in developing countries that have been compounded by climate variability. He has done some analysis on development policies and how they influence national food and nutrition security in Malawi. His current work is looking at how national seed policies help build resilience among crop and livestock farmers in drylands of Malawi and Kenya; and the extent by which climate information services are mainstreamed into national plans and policies as part of an early warning system and a decision support tool for various sectors, agriculture in particular for Malawi, Kenya and Ghana.


Oscar Kambombe

Research Assistant

Oscar Kambombe is the BRECcIA Research Assistant in Hydrology at the University of Malawi. His interest is in hydrological modelling for decision support in the area of water resources and environmental management. Oscar also has a vast practical experience in land and water management, having worked as a government officer in the Department of Land Resources Conservation of Malawi for almost 10 years. He is currently studying for a PhD in Earth Sciences at the University of Malawi. His most recent research work is on the evaluation of socio-economic drivers of land use or land cover (LULC) change and their associated hydrological implications in the Lake Chilwa Basin, Malawi.


Cosmo Ngongondo


Cosmo Ngongondo is a Professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of Geography, Earth Sciences and Environment at the University of Malawi. He is the current Executive Dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences at UNIMA. Cosmo holds a PhD in Hydrology from the University of Oslo in Norway, an MSc in Water Resources Engineering and Management from the University of Zimbabwe and a BSc in Earth Sciences and Physics from the University of Malawi. His research interests are in the scientific assessments of impacts of climate change on key areas such as water resources and related other natural resources as well agricultural production. He has conducted analyses of climate change impacts in Malawi and southern Africa region. Current research projects include Advancing frequency analysis of nonstationary hydrological extremes for reducing flood risk in a changing climate, funded by the Norwegian Research Council (Forskerprosjekt – FRINATEK), 2018-2021, African Centres of Excellence 2 (ACE) Project and Climate change and ecosystems management in Malawi and Tanzania funded by the NORAD, Norway. His scientific research work in hydrological and climatic sciences was awarded the 2013 African Union-The World Academy of Sciences (AU-TWAS) Young Scientists National Award in the Earth and Life Sciences category.

University of Nairobi

Dr. Stephen Rwigi

Lecturer, Department of Earth and Climate Science

Dr. Stephen Rwigi is a lecturer in hydrometeorology and surface water resources in the Department of Earth and Climate Science (Meteorology). His most recent research is the assessment of the impacts of climate change and deforestation on surface water resources in the Mau forest complex in Kenya. Some of the published work from this research includes simulated impacts of climate change on surface water yields over the Sondu basin in Kenya and assessment of potential changes in hydrologically relevant rainfall statistics over the Sondu river basin in Kenya under a changing climate.

In relation the BRECcIA project Stephen will contributing his knowledge of hydrometeorology and modelling to water and food security in the drylands; specifically modelling of rainfall-runoff relationships in the drylands environment under a changing climate.

University Of Southampton

Professor of Hydrology and Remote Sensing

Professor Justin Sheffield is Professor of Hydrology and Remote Sensing at the University of Southampton, UK. His research is on fundamental and applied research on large-scale hydrology and its interactions with climate variability and change. He has published extensively on hydrological extremes, climate change, and hydrological processes from catchment to global scale, and on the application of research to hazards impacts reduction, and water and food security particularly in developing regions. He has received a number of awards including the 2014 Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for work on drought monitoring and prediction, and the 2013 European Geosciences Union Plinius Medal for multi-disciplinary research and applications in hydrological hazards. He was named the 2019 Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology by the American Meteorological Society for advancing hydrologically coherent analyses of drought across scales, and pioneering the development of integrated drought monitoring tools for food-insecure countries

Researcher Developer – Lecturer in Academic Practice (Research)

Julie Reeves is currently the Researcher Developer at the University of Southampton, designing and delivering training and development programmes for doctoral researchers, research and academic staff. Currently, she is researching and reflecting on organisational development and appropriate models of development for higher education.

Professor in Remote Sensing, Geography and Environmental Science

Professor in Remote Sensing, Geography and Environmental Science. Professor Dash has existing research collaborations with several leading research organisations across the world including the NASA, European Space Agency, the Chinese Academy of Science, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), Italy, and the Indian Institute of technology (IIT). He is a professor in remote sensing and Director of research for the Geography and Environment academic unit. His current research objective is to exploit the opportunities provided by the current and future Earth observation satellite missions (e.g. European Space Agency’s Sentinel programme) to monitor the state of terrestrial ecosystems through quantifying vegetation amount and conditions. In particular using these data to (i) answer key scientific questions related to quantifying and understanding the changes in terrestrial carbon cycle and (ii) provide national scale policy relevant information on agriculture management.

Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Science

Dr Wright’s current research looks at interventions to widen access to safe drinking-water and support the monitoring of this issue in low and middle income countries. Most recently, he has become interested in safe drinking-water access in urban areas, and livestock and drinking-water contamination. He often uses geospatial data manipulation and analysis, particularly when it comes to monitoring. He has worked in sub-Saharan Africa since the mid-1990s. His current projects focus on urban groundwater quality management in Ghana and on the management of livestock-related water contamination in Kenya.

Professor of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Professor Lewis is an ethnographer whose research is broadly on race in Mexico and the African Diaspora in Latin America. In relation to these themes, she also researches and writes on gender; slavery; colonialism and nationalism; migration and transnationalism; visual and material culture, and place. Her most recent book is based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in an Afro-Indigenous rural agricultural village in the southern Pacific coastal region of the state of Guerrero in Mexico (the ‘Costa Chica’). Currently, she is looking at race concepts and transnational practices among 1st and 2nd generation young adults living in the urban United States whose families are from this village.

Professor of Artificial Intelligence, School of Electronics and Computer Science

Prof. Sarvapali Ramchurn is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Turing Fellow, and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is based in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, where he carries out research into the design of Responsible Artificial Intelligence for real-world socio-technical applications including energy systems, disaster management, and crowdsourcing. His research involves applying techniques from Machine Learning, Data Science, and Game Theory. He has won multiple best paper awards for his research and is a winner of the AXA Research Fund Award for his work on Responsible Artificial Intelligence. He is an advisor to the Open Innovation Team at the Cabinet Office and Chief Scientist at North Star Solar Ltd. He has pioneered the development of AI-based disaster response systems using multi-UAV systems, AI-driven large-scale battery management for smart grids, and an AI bot that outperformed more than 5M human players (top 0.7%) in the English Premier League Fantasy Football Tournament. His papers have been cited more than 6000 times (according to Google scholar) and his work has featured in various media including BBC News, New Scientist, Sky News, BBC Click, and Wired. He is originally from Mauritius and is interested in promoting applications of AI in developing countries.

Research Fellow

Dr. Anghileri is a research fellow in hydrology in the BRECcIA project. Her research is in the field of hydrology and water resources management. She is particularly interested in analysing the interaction between human activities and the natural environment. She combines models and optimisation techniques to analyse coupled human-natural water systems and decision-making problems to improve water use efficiency, sustainability, and promote an equitable share of water between conflicting uses. She has experience in several real-world water management problems concerning water security and protection from hydrological hazards, such as flood control and drought mitigation, water supply for food production and hydropower production.

Research Fellow

Dr Matt Kandel is a Research Fellow in Environmental Anthropology for BRECcIA. He is leading a small team on a participatory research and capacity building programme in Upper East region of Ghana and Kitui County in Kenya. Their research is focusing on how land restoration interventions integrate equity, resilience and variability (e.g. socio-ecological, biophysical) into their approaches. In conjunction with their research they will conduct participatory research methods training workshops for local researchers (e.g. postgraduate students, NGO employees), some of whom will go on to use their training in conducting research linked to BRECcIA. In addition to working in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, Matt has conducted long-term fieldwork in north eastern Uganda on land tenure, conflict and agrarian change. Prior to coming to the University of Southampton Matt held a British Academy Newton International Fellowship in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London.

Senior Research Assistant

Genevieve has been involved in a wide range of international research and development projects in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 12 years. Her main focus of study has been local ecological knowledge and ecosystem service trade-offs in smallholder farming systems. She has taught on MSc level modules and research methods field courses and supervised dissertation projects specialising in agroforestry, tropical & temperate forestry. Her current research on the BRECcIA project at the University of Southampton focuses on the impact and efficacy of capacity building activities of the project. There is a large cohort of early career researchers on the project and the aim is to ensure they get the support they need through tailored professional development training and peer-to-peer exchange.


Dr Meryl Jagarnath

Senior Research Assistant

With a background both in physical and human geography, my research interests lie in studying the interactions and impacts between people and the environment. I particularly enjoy using spatial tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) to unpack the linkages between socio-ecological systems especially in the face of global and local sustainability challenges. My PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa focused on low carbon climate resilient development to identify areas within the Durban metropolitan that are at risk of major and rapid land use change and climate change impacts attributed to both (i) physical exposure and (ii) socio-economic development and livelihoods. This research was funded by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Specifically, I am interested in understanding the implications of global environmental change on natural resources, sustainability, and climate change resilience. Within BRECcIA, my research focuses on the structure, function, and processes of socio-ecological systems in drylands and assessing the vulnerability of these systems to climate variability and change.


Dr Chengxiu Li

Research Assistant

Chengxiu Li is a research assistant for the BRECcIA project. She has focused on mapping and monitoring vegetation using earth observation data. Her current project in BRECcIA is to monitor dynamics of cropland area and production and identify drivers in drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa. Working closely with local stakeholders, policy and resilience research theme in the project, she aims to contribute knowledge and understanding for informed and productive agriculture management. She worked on understanding alpine grassland ecosystems using remote sensing technologies in the University of Zurich, Switzerland for her Ph.D. degree. Specifically, she worked on how environmental variables and human activities affect grassland production and lead to grassland degradation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.


Ailish Craig

Masters Student

Ailish is a currently a Masters student with an interest in food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently she is looking at the relationship between food security and social capital in Malawi.

Sebastian Reichel

International Stakeholder Co-ordinator

Sebastian co-ordinated international stakeholder engagement and internationalisation of project research and outcomes for the BRECcIA project, in collaboration with the BRECcIA research teams in the UK and sub-Saharan Africa, and with UNESCO-IHP. Working with academics, NGOs, governments and peers, he lead International stakeholder engagement for water and food security research and capacity development within the project. He had previously worked on the EU-wide sustainability and migration education project ‘Start the Change!’ in the roles of project management and junior researcher on behalf of Germany, funded by the EU Commission.


Lucy Graves

Administrative Officer

Lucy Graves has been an Administrative Assistant for various projects at the University of Southampton including DECCMA, BRECcIA, SARTRAC and Water & Waste. She organises logistics, arranges conferences and travel, assists with financial reporting, maintains high levels of communication across partnerships and generally helps make everything run smoothly

Regional Centers



The AGRHYMET Regional Center is a specialised institution in West-Africa, created and mandated by thirteen member states to provide operational information for decision making in the area of food security early warning and disaster risk management in the Sahelian and West-African region. After more than 40 years of existence, AGRHYMET’s scope of activities covers the whole seventeen West Africa and Sahel countries, thanks to several initiatives it has been implementing on behalf of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) on food security and environmental issues, including climate change. The AGRHYMET system was formally designated a Public International Organization in accordance with the requirements of ADS 308 by USAID. 


Bernard Minoungou

Hydrological Modelling Assistant

Bernard Minoungou worked for two years at the General Directorate of Water Resources of Burkina Faso. His role was to follow the hydrometric network, to produce information on water resources. He is currently working for the AGRHYMET Regional Centre and his role is to carry out hydrological modelling to define and quantify the dominant hydrological processes in the main river basins of West Africa, with a view to implement forecasting and producing information on water. In view of this role, part of his work is to improve climate products by combining satellite data with ground observation stations. He uses hydrological rainfall-runoff models such as SWAT and HYPE. At the operational level, we force hydrological models with climate data.

Dr Charlène Olayèmi Ursula Gaba

PDRA in Hydrological modelling and Hydro-informatics

I am a specialist in Climate Change and Water Resources. A dynamic, creative and highly motivated research scientist, I am also an excellent team player and strong builder of collaborations. I am very much passionate about topics related to water, sanitation, climate change, land use, sustainable development and personally engaged in empowering women in science. I have worked on evaluating how good have some past climate projections been over West Africa. Within BRECcIA, I will be contributing to the implementation of a multi-hydrological models platform for West Africa in order to improve water and food security.

Dr.-Ing. Agossou Gadedjisso-Tossou

Postdoctoral Fellow in Crop modelling on BRECcIA project at AGRHYMET

He is an agronomist with a Ph.D. in integrated soil and water management, focusing on assessing crop yield response to water in West Africa. He is an expert in crop modeling (with previous experience on AquaCrop) and soil-water-crop interaction processes. He has also expertise in assessing climate change’s impact on agriculture production. I also have experience in using the WEAP (“Water Evaluation And Planning” system) model for Water, Energy, Food, and Ecosystems (WEFE) nexus assessment in the Niger river basin in West Africa. His research interest is assessing climatic risks and crop modeling for sustainable food and water security in West Africa. He is proficient in R and Python for climate data analysis and has basic Matlab knowledge. Within the BRECcIA project, at AGRHYMET his role was to use AquaCrop to:

– Assess Spatio-temporal variability of maize, sorghum, and millet yield in the Sirba basin, West Africa (seasonal-, short- and long-term projection);

– Understand and map the yield gap in West Africa;

– Map crop suitability across the West Africa region given landscape and climate factors.

– Couple AquaCrop model with hydrological models used in BRECcIA such as VIC and Hydroblocks.


SADC / Waternet

Building capacity for water resources management in southern Africa. WaterNet is a regional network of university departments and research and training institutes specialising in water. The network aims to build regional institutional and human capacity in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) through training, education, research and outreach by harnessing the complementary strengths of member institutions in the region and elsewhere. WaterNet member institutions have expertise in various aspects of water resources management and are based in Southern and East Africa.

WaterNet Executive Manager.  BRECcIA Co-Investigator

Jean-Marie Kileshye Onema executes and co-ordinates all WaterNet activities as the Head of WaterNet Executive Management. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the School of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa; a Master’s Degree in Water Resources Engineering and Management (WREM), from the University of Zimbabwe and a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Lubumbashi. He is currently the interim Vice-President of the International Commission of Water Resources Systems (ICWRS) of IAHS and he represents Africa as the Regional Committee Member for DUPC at IHE Delft. Prof Kileshye Onema has an appointment as Associate Professor with the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Lubumbashi. His research interest covers water resources engineering and management capacity, building efforts with a strong focus on land use dynamics on regional hydrology.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Tendai Polite Chibarabada graduated with a Master of Science in Agriculture in 2015 and a PhD in Crop Science in 2018, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. She then moved to the University of the Free State to pursue a Postdoctoral Fellowship in collaboration with Wageningen University. For the past few years she worked on water use, physiology, nutritional value and nitrogen fixation of grain legumes. Dr Chibarabada has several publications that focus on alleviating food and nutritional insecurity in semi and arid environments. She has conducted extensive work on grain legumes and has experience in smallholder farming systems. Her research skills include agronomy, crop physiology, crop water use and crop modelling. She is currently based at WaterNet where she is conducting research on dryland agriculture. In addition, she is responsible for linking BRECcIA activities to the WaterNet Master Programme in Integrated Water Resources Management, the WaterNet symposium and any other SADC water research being implemented by WaterNet.

Catherine Tlotlo Kerapetse

Research Officer

Catherine is currently assessing/selecting an appropriate model to understand failures to curb or successes to transfer from the various projects research findings through up scaling and capacity building using SADC policies under WaterNet.

She is currently doing collaborative research on “multi-model hydrological analysis to assess water resources availability and variability across Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.”

Catherine would like to contribute to the world of research through engineering workable sustainable environmental management tools/solutions that are impact driven to the changing environment.

Dr. Goden Mabaya

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Goden Mabaya is the Post-Doctoral Fellow for the GCRF-BRECCIA project implemented by WaterNet. His role is to provide academic, scientific and technical support to the WaterNet activities under the GCRF BRECCIA project through implementation of designated WaterNet activities with a strong focus on policy engagement. Goden has particular research interest in sustainable agricultural water management and integrated land and water resources management, as well as climate change adaptation and proofing in agriculture. In the recent past he collaborated with Kyoto University to develop agricultural water management optimisation approaches that protect rural water resources from agrochemical pollution and from depletion caused by intensive agriculture systems and exacerbated by climate change induced droughts at minimum cost on agricultural productivity. Prior, he worked with UNDP, Meta Meta Research and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education to develop optimal approaches for coping with on-field water management uncertainties in spate irrigation schemes in Sudan.

Impact Champions



The International Institute for Environment and Development is a policy and action research organisation. We promote sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. We specialise in linking local priorities to global challenges. IIED is based in London and works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people. We work with them to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions.

 Principal Researcher

Ced Hesse is a Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, responsible for the design and management of policy-oriented action-research on drylands resilience, productivity and equity – for current portfolio see: Currently, lead for the design and implementation of devolved climate finance, working with national and local government to design performance-based fiscal transfer systems that are transparent, equitable and accountable, while strengthening community involvement in prioritisation of investments in public goods that build climate resilience. On-going work in Kenya, Mali, Senegal and Tanzania. Previously, Director of IIED’s Drylands programme in East and West Africa and technical lead on regional research themes including total economic value of pastoralism, making decentralisation work, shared management of common property resources and adaptive climate planning at sub-national levels. Responsible for the design and implementation of a policy-oriented training course on pastoralism and policy in East Africa and Ethiopia targeted at senior-decision makers, government planners and NGO project workers.

Morgan Williams

Senior Coordinator

Morgan Williams is a project manager and team coordinator with 11 years’ experience of working with globally diverse project teams on high-profile, large-scale and long-term climate change and international development programmes. Morgan is a Senior Coordinator in IIED’s Building climate resilience, productivity and equity in the drylands team which aims to help local and national governments make their development planning for drylands more resilient to climate change, and advocate at the global level for policies and laws that support climate adaptive management. She oversees a portfolio of projects and is responsible for budget and contract management, financial forecasting and reporting, monitoring output delivery, proposal budgeting, and relationship-building with partners and donors.


Claire Bedelian


Claire is an independent researcher periodically contracted by IIED as a consultant. Her work centres on building resilience and productivity in the drylands of East Africa. She has worked with pastoralist communities in East Africa for the last 15 years. Her current research focuses on drylands water governance, working closely with county governments in Kenya to inform policy and planning. Before working at IIED, she worked with ODI on the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Areas (PRISE) project, and at University College London as a Research Associate in Anthropology.

David pertaub

David Pertaub

Research Associate

David Pertaub works in the Climate Change Group at IIED, where he is involved in ongoing research into Adaption and Resilience in the Drylands, Gender and Climate Change and Devolved Climate Finance.

David has a background in anthropology with a research focus on pastoralism and the drylands (East Africa), water governance, the impacts of large scale development projects (dams), and indigenous conceptions of prosperity and poverty. He previously worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at University College London on an ESCR-DFID funded project called SIDERA – ‘Shifting (In)equality Dynamics from Research to Application’ (2018-2019). He explored recent social and environmental change in a remote part of southwest Ethiopia – the lower Omo valley – with a particular focus on the downstream impact of a mega-dam (the Gibe III) on vulnerable and marginalised agro-pastoralist communities living along the river Omo.

He holds a Masters in Anthropology, Development and the Environment from University College London (2016).



LEAD was conceived as a programme focused on strengthening the capacities of a new cadre of leaders at the workplace empowered with knowledge of sustainable development and leadership skills including vision development.

Sosten Chiotha

Regional Director

Recent projects I have been involved in include ecosystem management, food security and resilience to climate change for both urban and rural areas. I have accumulated 25 years of research, collaboration and networking experience, from grass roots to policy makers. I am involved in the Adaptability, Food Security, Risk, and the Right to the City in Sub-Saharan Africa (Africity) along with  6 partners (Funders Germany DAAD and BMBF.) and Transformative, Transgressive learning in times of climate change (T-Learning) involving 9 partners in 9 countries on 4 continents.

Patrick Likongwe

Programme Officer – Research and Training

Patrick is currently working with LEAD as a research and training programme officer, providing support in research related projects and training others in climate change mitigation and adaptation, environment and natural resource management. He is currently researching on Adaptability, Food Security and Risk and the Right to City in sub-Saharan Africa: Towards Sustainable Livelihoods and Green Infrastructure (AFRICITY). He is focusing on the urban ecosystem services through understanding the status of this GI within the city and how best it can be enhanced to support in resilience and sustainable livelihoods. In relation to the BRECcIA project, with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, his contribution is to support the achievement of the small research project in the comprehensive assessment of small scale irrigation cropland using Remotely Piloted Aircrafts in the Lake Chilwa basin.

Sphiwe 'Phiwe' Nyalugwe

Project Officer

Sphiwe graduated from the University of Malawi with a Bachelor of science in Environmental Science in 2014. Since then she has worked with different organisations and in different positions. For instance, for over three years she worked as a lecturer in environmental management and organic farming in different higher learning institutions, including Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources and ShareWord University from 2015 to 2018. She has also worked as an Environmental Officer and later as a District Coordinator at Emmanuel International from 2018 to 2019.