Accessibility statement

Dereje Denu
KITE (External)



Dereje is a botanist working on plant biodiversity in different ecological systems (including sacred sites). Currently, he is studying towards a PhD, quantifying the impacts of climate and land cover / land use change on forest biodiversity and carbon storage in the Jimma Highlands of Ethiopia.

Dereje has many years of teaching experience, and has worked as Research and Project Assistant for the Biocultural Diversity Project (Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society). His Masters research was on the Floristic Composition and Ecology of Bibita Forest in Southwest Ethiopia, in which 196 species of plants were identified, of which two species were new records (Ipomoea involucrata and Harungana madagascariensis) for Ethiopia.


2011-Present PhD Student Addis Ababa University & University of York
2008-2011 Lecturer (Academic Remedial Office Coordinator, 2009-2010) College of Natural Sciences, Jimma University
2007-2008 Project Assistant Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society
2004-2007 MSc Botanical Science Faculty of Sciences, Addis Ababa University
1999-2006 Teacher (Department Head, 2000-2002) Lem Secondary School, Addis Ababa City Administration
1996-1999 BSc Biology Faculty of Sciences, Addis Ababa University
1993-1995 Teacher Kumbabe Secondary School, Oromia Region
1988-1994 Teacher (Supervision Head, 1993-1994) Anfilo Tigil Firie, Oromia Region



PhD title: Impact of Climate and Land Cover Change on Forest Biodiversity and Carbon Storage in Jimma Highlands, Ethiopia

Supervisors: Prof. Ensermu Kelbessa, Dr. Robert Marchant, Dr. Tadesse Woldemariam
Funding: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (CHIESA Project)


The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of climate and land cover change on forest biodiversity and develop regional species distribution model. It is also to estimate the carbon storage of different land use types in Jimma transect based on the above ground live biomass and upscale it to the landscape level.

The specific objectives of this study include:

  • Determining climate and land use / land cover change impacts on plant distributions
  • Investigate a range of species that link the various land use types
  • Determine how above ground carbon storage and dynamics vary across the different land use systems


Transects will be established and botanical assessments conducted. Additional occurrence data of the species that occur in the study transects will be collated from herbarium specimens, in order to constrain the climatic niche of the species. Maxent and Garp tools will be used for modelling the species distribution. Data for the determination of carbon storage in different land use types will be collected from 1 ha plots, stratefied by biome type. R-Statistical software will be used for the analysis of carbon storage under different land uses. Canopy structure and leaf area index (LAI) will be also determined, using a hemispherical camera system and Sunscan delta-T device.

Research group(s)

York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems (KITE)


Full publications list

  • Dereje Denu and Desalgn Desissa (2013). Abundance, Distribution and Use of Vepris dainellii (Pichi-Serm.) Kokwaro - an Ethiopian endemic, in Melo-Koza woreda, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region. In press
  • Dereje Denu and Tamene Belude (2012). Floristic Composition of Traditional Sacred Landscapes in Bedelle Woreda, Ilubabor Zone, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Journal of Education and Sciences 8, 75-91
  • Dereje Denu and Desalegn Desissa (2011). Regeneration status of living sacred forest patches in Deramalo District, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Nations Nationalities Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). Manuscript
  • Dereje Denu and Tadesse Habtamu (2010). Principles of Ecology. Module prepared for distance course, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
  • Haile Yineger and Dereje Denu (2009). Laboratory manual: Bryophytes and Pteridophytes. Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia
  • Dereje Denu (2009). Training manual: Methods of Teaching Basic Science and Junior Biology. Justice and Empowerment for Mothers and Children, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Dereje Denu (2008) Floristic Composition and Vegetation Structure of Living Sacred Sites in Gofa highlands. Report submitted to the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society
  • Dereje Denu (2007). Floristic Composition and Ecological Study of Bibita Forest (Guraferda), southwest Ethiopia. MSc Thesis, Faculty of Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

‌ ‌

Contact details

Mr Dereje Denu Rebu
PhD Student
College of Natural Sciences
Department of Biology
Jimma University

Tel: +251 (0) 471 110 1 21