Water and Land Resource Centre – WLRC (Ethiopia)

Haramaya University (Ethiopia)

Kenya Forestry Research Institute – KEFRI (Kenya)

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation – KALRO (Kenya)

Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania)

Tanzania Forestry Research Institute – TAFORI (Tanzania)

Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology – C·I·B, Stellenbosch University (South Africa)

Centre for Development and Environment – CDE (Switzerland)

Michigan State University and University of Idaho, USA

CABI – in Switzerland and Kenya


Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Dr Lisanework Nigatu, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Lisanework is an Associate Professor of Vegetation Ecology and Agroforestry in the School of Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences (School of NRMES). He is an experienced educator, researcher, an accomplished scholar and scientist. He has served the university in various capacities and positions and currently coordinates three postgraduate programs (Agrometeorology and Natural Risk Management, Agroforestry and Soil Management, Environmental Sciences and Management) of the School of NRMES. He has published 45peer-reviewed scientific papers, supervised over 40 MSc. and eight PhD students. His research and publications focus on crop ecology, weed biology, biodiversity conservation and Climate change, adaptation and mitigations.


Dr Jema Haji, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Jema is an associate professor of Agricultural Economics at the School of Agricultural Economics and Agri-business. He has taught PhD and MSc students in the university and other universities in Ethiopia for the last ten years. He has about 30 articles published in reputable journals on areas related to productivity, marketing and impact. He had served different positions in the university such as head department, associate dean of a faculty, capacity builder of SMIP project and students research director. Dr. Jema has been conducting research in the areas of production, marketing, climate change, and need and impact assessments.


Mr Ketema Bekele, Haramaya University, Ethiopia

Ketema is a lecturer and researcher at Haramaya University and a PhD candidate in Agricultural Economics in the Woody Weeds project. His research interest and specialisation area is environmental economics. His PhD research is entitled “Impact of Woody Invasive Alien Species on Environment and Livelihood in East Africa: Cases from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania”. He received his MA Degree in Development Studies from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in 2008.

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Water and Land Resource Centre, Ethiopia

Dr Tena Alamirew Agumassie, Water and Land Resource Centre, Ethiopia

Tena is the Deputy Director of WLRC. He also leads the hydrology, hydrosedimentology and climate change research division. He obtained an MSc from Cranfield University (UK) and a PhD from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria, in agricultural water resource management. He worked at Haramaya University and the Ethiopian Institute of Water Resources of Addis Ababa University. His academic and research focus areas include water resource management, agro-hydrology, irrigation and drainage.


Mr Hailu Shiferaw Desta, WRLC, Ethiopia

Hailu is a PhD student at Addis Ababa University (AAU) under the Woody Weeds Project. Hailu graduated with BSc degree in Biology and MSc degree in Population Ecology from AAU, Ethiopia. He also graduated with MSc degree in Geo-Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) from the Department of Environment, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He has been working on environmental and natural resource projects both in public and international organizations in Ethiopia.


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Kenya Forestry Research Institute

Mr Simon Choge, Kenya Forestry Research Institute

Simon Choge is a research scientist working with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya. With a rich forestry background, his research focuses on management and control of invasive woody species. He received his B.S. degree in Forestry from Moi University, Kenya in 1989 and an M.S. in environmental economics and policy from the University of Natal, South Africa in 2002. He is the national coordinator of the invasive species programme in KEFRI.


Ms Purity Rima, Kenya Forestry Research Institute

Purity Rima is a PhD student working with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya. Her research interests include biodiversity, invasive species and climate change and how the latter relates with species geographic ranges and invasion, using GIS and RS techniques. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Moi University, Kenya, an MSc in GIS and RS in Natural Resources Management for Faculty of ITC – University of Twente, the Netherlands, and is currently pursuing doctorate studies at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA), University of Nairobi, Kenya.


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Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation

Dr Edward Bikketi, KALRO, Kenya

Edward is senior social scientist working in the socioeconomics and applied statistics programme at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation in Kenya (KALRO). His research interests include Community Development for Rural Livelihoods, Gender and Development, Social Learning and Governance for Natural Resource Management, Climate Change and Adaptation in for Agriculture, Characterization of farming systems, Agricultural Productivity and Value Chains and Policy Analysis. He received an MA in Rural Sociology and Community Development from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a PhD in Social Anthropology and Sustainable Development from the University of Bern, Switzerland.


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CABI Kenya

Dr Arne Witt, CABI Kenya

Arne is the Regional (African and Asia) Coordinator for Invasive Species for CABI, based in Nairobi. He works to strengthen the policy/legislation framework with regard to invasive species, to foster regional cooperation regarding their management, to create awareness about the threats they pose, and to build capacity for the implementation of sustainable IAS management and prevention strategies. He has a BSc from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, MSc degrees in Entomology (Stellenbosch University) and Conservation Biology (University of Cape Town) and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand.


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University of Nairobi, Kenya

Dr Maina Gichaba, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Maina Gichaba obtained his PhD in 1997 in Environmental Hygrogeology at University of Parma in Italy. He holds an MSc degree in Hydrogeology and a BSc in Geology of University of Nairobi. Dr Maina-Gichaba has had various academic positions at Egerton University and has been working since 2009 as a Senior Lecturer in University of Nairobi, Kenya, Department of Geology. His main teaching domains include Hydrogeology, Photogeology, Remote Sensing and, GIS. In both institutions, he was instrumental in establishing and developing teaching and research laboratory in Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


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Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

Prof. George Chhamungwana Kajembe, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

George holds a BSc (Forestry) from Sokoine University of Agriculture (1985), an MSc (Management of Natural resources and Sustaionable Agriculture) from The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, Norway (1988) and a PhD (Social Forestry) from Wageningen University of Life Sciences, The Netherlands (1994) and a Certificate of Achievement (Natural Resources Governance) of the Center for the Study of Institutions, population and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University, USA (1997). George has served both as national and international consultant. George research focuses on natural resource governance, institutional analysis and socio-economic issues.


Prof. Ezekiel, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania


Ms Amina Amri Hamad, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania

Amina is a PhD candidate in the Woody Weeds project and a lecturer in the faculty of Science, department of Physical Sciences at SUA. She has experience in remote sensing and GIS application for resource assessment and her research interests include mapping, monitoring and modelling land and water resources. She received an MSc in Natural Resources Management from the University of Twente in the Netherlands.


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Tanzanian Forestry Research Organisation

Dr John Richard, TAFORI, Tanzania

John Richard, is a research scientist working with the Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI). With over ten years’ experience in forest ecology, his work has focused on conservation of natural forests and restoration of forest ecosystems from human activities and plant introductions. He has developed a keen interest on management of plant invasions and interactions between conservation and forest resources utilisation. John received an MSc and a PhD in Forestry from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.


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Center for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Prof. Brian van Wilgen, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Brian is Research Professor and core team member at the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University. He has a basic degree in forestry from Stellenbosch University, with post-graduate qualifications (MSc, PhD) in applied ecology from the University of Cape Town, and a DSc from Stellenbosch University. His research focusses on the ecological effects of vegetation fires and the use of fire in ecosystem management; the ecology and management of invasive alien plants; and the conservation of biological diversity and ecosystem services.


Prof. Jaco Le Roux, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Jaco is an Associate Professor of Botany. His background is in population genetics and phylogeography, and he applies these approaches to better understand the microevolutionary dynamics of plants, and particularly introduced, non-native species. He holds a BSc, BSc(Hons) and MSc from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and obtained his PhD in 2007 from the University of Hawaii, Hawaii, USA.


Ms María Loretto Castillo, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

María Loreto is a PhD candidate in Botany in the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She mainly focuses on the ecological and evolutionary aspect of plant invasion. Her work includes studies of niche requirements and potential habitats, demographic responses in invasive populations, patterns of variation in life history traits along environmental gradients and effect of landscape variables and dispersal abilities in the invasion process. She received an MSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Chile.


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University of Bern, Switzerland

Dr Albrecht Ehrensperger, CDE, University of Bern, Switzerland

Albrecht is a senior research scientist working with the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at the University of Bern, Switzerland. As a member of the management board he contributes towards the conceptual advancement of CDE and is in charge of a team of research scientists. His research interests include various aspects of sustainable development, with a focus on spatial patterns and interactions at various scales. His PhD thesis, completed in 2006, focussed on the potentials and limitations of spatial analysis tools in different development contexts in Eastern Africa.


Dr Sandra Eckert, CDE, University of Bern, Switzerland

Sandra is a senior research scientist specialized in applied remote sensing and GIS. She’s working at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) at University of Bern. She obtained an MSc in Geography in 1999 and a PhD in remote sensing in 2006 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her research interests are in applications of remote sensing including biophysical parameter extraction, invasive alien plant species assessments, and in the detection and observation of land change processes.


Dr Gudrun Schwilch, CDE, University of Bern, Switzerland

Gudrun Schwilch is a Senior Research Scientist and Head of the Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services Cluster at CDE. Her research interests lie in sustainable land management (SLM) and desertification mitigation, natural resource management, ecosystem services assessment, database and decision support development and multi-stakeholder learning. She is a physical geographer and has a PhD in Land Degradation and Development from Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


Prof. Eric Allan, University of Bern, Switzerland

Eric is an assistant professor working at the Institute of Plant Sciences in Bern. His research focusses on the causes and consequences of biodiversity change. He is interested in the processes maintaining coexistence in plant communities, effects of global change on biodiversity and effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and service provision. He studied at the University of Oxford, did his PhD with Prof. M Crawley at Imperial College and then did postdocs in Jena and Bern.


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CABI Switzerland

Dr Urs Schaffner, CABI Switzerland

Urs is head of the Ecosystems Management Section at CABI in Delémont, Switzerland, and holds an Affiliate Assistant Professorship at the University of Idaho, USA. He is particularly interested in understanding the causes and consequences of biological invasions and in using this knowledge to develop biological control and other sustainable management solutions. He received an MSc in Zoology and a PhD in Ecology from the University of Bern, Switzerland.


Dr René Eschen, CABI Switzerland

René is senior scientist in Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology at CABI in Delémont, Switzerland. His research interests include ecology and impacts of invasive species, grassland ecology and the relationship between invasive pests of woody plants and international trade. He received an MSc in Ecology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and a PhD in Ecology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.


Theo Linders, CABI Switzerland

Theo is a PhD student of the Woody Weeds project since 2015, based at CABI in Delémont and enrolled in the University of Bern. Theo received both a BSc (2013) and a MSc (2015) in Forest and Nature Conservation from Wageningen University (the Netherlands). His main research interests are the ecological impacts of invasive plant species, ecosystem multifunctionality and malacology.

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Michigan State University, USA

Prof. Michael O’Rourke, Michigan State University

Michael O’Rourke is a professor of philosophy and a faculty member in AgBioResearch at Michigan State University, USA. Trained as a philosopher of language, his current work focuses primarily on communication among investigators in complex, collaborative research efforts. He received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Kansas, USA, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University, USA. He is the director of the Toolbox Project, a US NSF-sponsored initiative that studies and facilitates communication and collaboration in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects.

University of Idaho, USA

Prof. Sanford Eigenbrode, University of Idaho

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