- Graham Fox (McGill University), in collaboration with Piranto Mosiary (University of Nairobi) shot and produced the following video. Funded by a grant from National Geographic Society it documents the impact the invasive cactus, opuntia stricta, is having on Laikipia North. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6z4sc7vEF8
- A meeting facilitated by Jessica Thorn on “Bayesian modelling for climate change, land use change and food security” was held at the Taita Rocks Hotel, in Wundanyi, in collaboration with the University of York, University of Helsinki, Colorado State University and ETH Zurich and the CHIESA and AFERIA research programmes.
- Rebecca Newman has been running participatory workshops in Pemba, Zanzibar to identify the differences in past, present and land use in a 'business as usual,and a sustainable future scenario. It appears the cross cutting issue which to focus on in the multi stakeholder workshops is deforestation as it spans across water, energy and food challenges.
- Welcome to Nicole Chico Ortiz, a new member to the KITE group. Nicole is working on a project entitled, "Abundance and distribution of microplastics in marine sediments". The study will consist in the analysis of these across an intertidal zone and a mangrove in Ghana.
- Congratulations to Ran Parwenn who won the Departmental Photography competition with her picture "Gujjar community women carrying headload of fodder" coming from her work on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and links to conservation around Jim Corbett National Park in northern India.
- Congratulations go to Claudia Capitani creator of the land use scenario tool "Kesho" which has been applied on a number of projects across East Africa. Claudia is currently working on the Biopama project at JRC. https://biopama.org/
- Jessica Thorn was invited to give a keynote at Ain Shams University, Cairo, February 2019. entitled “ Embracing non-linearity: Scenario analysis for African land use transitions” and a paper on “Indigenous and scientific knowledge of soil regulation services, and factors effecting decision-making in agricultural landscapes in the Terai Plains of Nepal”. The conference’s main topics were: urban development and smart cities for Africa; agriculture, water resources, food security and Climate Change bringing together an international research and development community from all parts of Africa.
- Rebecca Newman has received funding for training of the beekeepers in Taita Hills, Kenya from the Bees Abroad Trustees. The project is to support Beekeepers to improve their beekeeping skills, in terms of hive management and harvesting for maximum benefit.
- New DCP project flyer produced that details an overview of the work UK, Chinese, and East African partners will collaborate on under the Global Challenges Research Fund project.
New project starting
Josh Kirshner and Rob Marchant, working as part of a team led by Henrice Altink (History) and Paul Kerswill (Linguistics), have received funding for a project on small scale mining in Ghana 'Managing small-scale mining: Assessing the potential for a more environmentally-sustainable and socially inclusive small-scale gold mining industry in Ghana.' This interdisciplinary scoping project aims to establish guidelines towards the sustainable management of this mining.
New project starting
Aida Cuní Sanchez has received funding from National Geographic for a new project 'Montane forest ecology in the Albertine Rift: new past and present insights to guide future conservation.' This project will significantly increase our understanding of how tropical montane forests function. Given the limited botanical research in the area we could discover new species. Results from the study will help determine informed management interventions for this Reserve.
Comment on the dying baobabs
Aida Cuní Sanchez comments on the recent news story about the death of some of Africa's oldest baobab trees. Read the full article here.
New Article out!
Press release goes out about work led by Rob Marchant and other KITE members. For the first time, scientists have brought together a significant volume of data describing on-land climate variability to show the nature and impact of environmental change in East Africa. The article is available for free download until 15th April 2018.
New project starting
A new project is starting at KITE with Rob Marchant and Anthony Onyekuru 'Eco regional assessment and mapping of cost effective adaption strategies to the impact of climate change among crop farmers in West Africa'. This project is funded by the BBSRC Flexible Talent Mobility Account at the University of York.
Congratulations to Delphine Joly who has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, to be supervised by Rob Marchant, we look forward to welcome Delphine later in the year. The AHEAD (A Human and Environmental history of the Atacama Desert: understanding ecological and archaeological interactions in arid areas of South America) project will look to reveal the use of fuelwood resources in negotiating human survival in three contrasting desert areas in South America over the long-term; from foraging subsistence societies to colonial mining.
- Policy briefs launched for the AFERIA project, from KITE members, Claudia Capitani, Phil Platts and Rob Marchant. AFERIA Policy Brief 1 (PDF , 7,711kb), AFERIA Policy Brief 2 (PDF , 4,701kb), AFERIA policy brief 3 (PDF , 781kb)
- KITE member Aida Cuní Sanchez highlights the importance of cloud forests in Africa, by talking about her film 'The Cloud Shepherd' funded by the Scientific Exploration Society and her new Global Marie Curie Fellowship called African Sky Forests. Read more and watch the film here.
- NEW KITE Publication online. 'Entangled ecosystem-people-animal interactions: perspectives from the East African savanna" by Rob Marchant, Colin Courtney Mustaphi and Esther Githumbi. The article can be read or downloaded from here.
- REAL project members take results back to Amboseli as part of a 'Resilient Ecology of East African Landscapes'. More project infomation can be downloaded in Swahili (PDF , 1,151kb), English (PDF , 1,110kb) and Maasai (PDF , 1,128kb).
- Rob Marchant interviewed for Climate News Network on 'Climate cycle fuels famine in East Africa'
- New film on climate change, people, East Africa, archaeology! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJKal9rkFKo
- Four-day workshop happening at the University of York, with KITE, AFERIA and Mountain Sentinels members working on approaches to better understand climate change adaptation landuse drivers and in East Africa. The Bayesian newtork is in production!
- Exciting new 3-year PDRA position based in Tanzania, with secondments to University of York! Part of the new Adaptation and Resilience to Climate change (ARCC) project, this post will investigate future scenarios of land use and land cover changes (LULCC) and their consequences for socio-ecological-climate systems through land surface feedbacks, biodiversity and human welfare and development for the wider Serengeti region. Closing date: 28th March. More information from available here: PDRA Opportunity (PDF , 450kb). Photo: Stefan Swanepoel
- What on earth does the past of Eastern Africa tell us about future sustainability?
Public talk by KITE's Rob Marchant and Daryl Stump, photographic exhibition and 360 immersive film at Ron Cooke Hub, University of York. Thursday 26 January 2017, 6.30pm More info and tickets from: https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and events/events/public-lectures/spring-2017/eastern-africa/ NB: Photographic exhibition will stay up until mid February.
- A new Swedish-funded (SIDA and VR) project 'Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC)' is going to be looking at how societies, landscapes, ecosystems and Protected Areas have responded to climate change and societal use in north-west Tanzania. The project aims to use these insights to better understand how they may respond in the future. More information to follow over the coming months.
- New report out providing key scientific information for forests in northern Kenya: how the forests function, how local communities use them and what could be done to ensure their long-term existence.
- Tackling societal and environmental challenges using spatially-explicit scenarios from Tanzania. Please give us your feedback! We'd like to gather your opinions on this new approach so that we can develop the method and scenarios in further work. Feedback can be left here and the full article is available via open access.
- East African Afternoon - University of York held an East African Afterrnoon showcasing the range of world-leading research being undertaken in ecology, palaeoecologuy and archaeology in the University. Members of the KITE group featured strongly! Further reviews can be found in the blog post and YouTube footage of the presentations is also available. (Please note: the video below is just the introduction and first presentation. All other presentations can be found be following the link above.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgYMJlRBufk&index=1&list=PLI1HFFWIYsJsI8fqjf7O-GpuKFAXir6d_
Field Diary 2: Call for Contributions
The Field Diary
is a digital open-access newsletter that highlights and promotes the human perspective of conducting fieldwork anywhere in the world by all groups working for companies, government, development/conservation/missionary NGOs, security, graduate students, and academia. Working in the field is an exciting and often challenging part of the research endeavour and is critical to the body of knowledge we investigate and uncover. It also provides ample of stories to share in a critical but popular-science style to fellow researchers in academia, NGOs, government, companies and the public.
We welcome submissions
from a wide range of perspectives, disciplines and approaches. Submissions can be single authored or co-authored by researchers on overlapping projects. Authors can opt to submit anonymously if that is preferable. Photographs and webpage links are fully encouraged and can be used to advertise other aspects of your research work. In the first issue the dominant topics were fieldwork in Africa, and work related to research on human-environment interactions. But there is no geographic or study topic limitation – If you are interested in submitting a contribution and wish to discuss with the editors please feel free to propose your idea. The writing style should be personal and in the author’s voice. All language are permitted and outside editing help will be requested for languages not mastered by the editing team.
Graphics, photos and artwork are encouraged, as are links to other online content.
We will produce an open-access online PDF copy where all contributors share copyright. We are also looking into ways of financing a limited print run for distribution at research institutes with limited online access. We hope that papers can be both informative and creative.
Instructions for contributors:
The newly-established Department of Archaeology at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany, is offering post-doctoral positions in a number of key areas to start 1 Sept, 2016:
1. Post-doctoral Researcher in Stable Isotopes
2. Group leader/Post-doctoral Researcher in Proteomics
3. Post-doctoral Researcher in Dental Calculus Studies
4. Post-doctoral Researcher in Archaeobotany
5. Post-doctoral Researcher in Pleistocene Archaeology
6. Post-doctoral Researcher in Holocene Archaeology
7. Post-doctoral Researcher in Palaeoenviromental Studies
8. Post-doctoral Researcher in Computational Modelling
Applications with a focus on Africa are prefable.
The deadline for applications is April 25, 2016.
More info at: http://www.shh.mpg.de/163727/Specified-Postdoctoral-Positions
- Creation of an island: the extinction of animals on Zanzibar - Researchers in the KITE group have been part of the first comprehensive study of how Zanzibar was formed, charting the extinction of various animals from the island. The full article is Open Acess and is available in PLoS ONE.
- White Rose PhD Studentship (MS Word , 20kb) - "Socio-ecological system services for rural livelihoods and adaptation". Deadline 12 noon 5th March 2016