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Entomology and Arachnology

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | Ecology & Conservation Kenya

Module Overview

Kenya has a high invertebrate diversity, much of it yet to be described and documented. As a developing, agricultural country, invertebrates play a considerable role in public health and food security, which makes the study of invertebrates here both fascinating and vital.  With only a few scientists studying invertebrates in Kenya, it’s a ripe location for fresh studies and new discoveries. This module provides students with the tools needed to study insects and arachnids in the field and understand their roles in the health of an ecosystem and the national economy.

Location

This module is primarily based in Western Kenya’s Kakamega Forest, the Eastern-most remnant of central African ‘Congo-Guinean Rainforest’.  The overall diversity of this rainforest, along with its proximity to economically important water bodies and both large scale and subsistence farms, makes this a natural starting point for this study.  Kakamega is split into two parts: the first is run by the Kenya Forest Service, which allows a limited amount of human activity and extraction of forest products; the second is run by the Kenya Wildlife Service, which allows for no extractive activities. Both areas will be studied, along with nearby farms, rivers and Lake Victoria to the southwest. Accommodation will be provided at Rondo Retreat, a hotel and training center in the middle of Kakamega Forest. Rondo’s beautiful gardens, well-kept colonial buildings, high-quality food and service, and peaceful atmosphere make this a conducive environment in which to learn and to rest.

Educational Outcomes

Practical: Field-based data collection and analysis; insect and arachnid identification; sample collection and preparation/preservation; and National Museums of Kenya invertebrate zoology department tour

Theory: Afrotropical invertebrate taxonomy; disease vectors and the effects of human intervention; agricultural entomology; invasive species and biological control agents

Module Length

The minimum duration for this module is 6 days. The maximum length is 14 days – longer modules would incorporate additional study locations and subject-matter.

Contributors

Laban Njoroge

Laban is a research scientist and head of the Invertebrate Zoology Department at the National Museums of Kenya. He has conducted research, inventories and detailed studies of Kenya’s invertebrate fauna across the country over many years, and has a passion for teaching and passing on his knowledge to future scientists. Njoroge has specialized in aquatic insects, including dragonflies and mosquitoes, but has a far-reaching knowledge of much wider taxa as well.

His research interests include Medical and Forensic Entomology with a lot of interest in the taxonomy and ecology of mosquitoes, as well as development of new trapping systems for various disease vectors. He is also interested in conservation entomology, especially in the use of macro-invertebrates as indicators of an ecosystem’s health.

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Thank you for your interest in this module and developing a faculty-led program with EDU Africa. We pride ourselves in our ability to customize a program that will meet your requirements, exceed your expectations and make your vision come to life.


Featured Experiences

Kiambethu Tea Farm

Touring the Kiambethu Tea Farm gives insight into the colonial history and economics of Kenya, as well as the process undergone to transform the leaves of a tea bush into one of the most well known beverages of all time. The tour includes a walk through indigenous forests rich with medicinal trees, as well as a delicious colonial luncheon on the lawn.

River Rafting Rapids Camp

River Tana is the perfect place for white river rafting, with rapids ranging from grades three to five. It is also the only place in for white river rafting in Kenya. Upstream and downstream currents, including waterfalls, provide different technicalities that challenge beginners as well as more experienced rafters. Rafting River Tana is a worthy adrenaline rush!

Big Cat Monitoring

Incredible wildlife is one of Africa’s most appealing icons, and is desperately in need of protection through conservation and educational projects. Many conservation efforts give rise to amazing volunteering programs, such as the opportunity to research and monitor big cats. Taking part in this project gives students a chance to deeply experience and engage with some of Africa’s most powerful and breathtaking wildlife.

Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens

Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens is a vibrant gateway into the world of pre-colonial climate diversity. Rising out of misty, rolling hills of emerald-green tea, these gardens stand as a testament to the power of environmental restoration and protection. The project began in the year 2000 and includes an arboretum of rare tree species that are critically endangered across the continent. 


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