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2018 cohort of AIMS Small Research Grants in Climate Change Science

Daniel Akinyele, Nigeria
Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at the University of Lagos, Nigeria

Akinyele received a PhD in Engineering (renewable energy) from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has served as a senior engineer at the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure in Nigeria and is a registered member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria. He was a past postdoctoral research fellow at the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and he is the author of several scientific publications.

Akinyele’s research interests include renewable energy systems analysis, microgrid design and planning, energy efficiency, life cycle impact analysis, and sustainability. His project will focus on developing localized, sustainable clean energy models for off-grid applications in rural communities to significantly lower health risks and reduce the energy prices associated with hazardous fossil fuel-powered technologies.

Ayansina Ayanlade, Nigeria
Researcher and lecturer, Department of Geography at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Ayanlade holds a PhD in Geography from King’s College, London, UK. He is a project associate in the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change projects of the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change. He has received several scientific awards from, among others, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund; the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa; and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security in Kenya.

His research interests are in land-climate processes, climate change studies, and the application of remote sensing and geographic information systems to land-atmospheric interactions. His project aims to examine the perceptions and adaptive capacities of Nigerian farmers to climate change in order to assess whether particular perceptions of climate change/variability are consistent with climatic trend analyses.

Timothy Dube, Zimbabwe
Senior lecturer, Geo-information Science and Earth Observation at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Dube holds a PhD in Environmental Science, specializing in geographic information science (GIScience) and earth observation, from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. He is a National Research Foundation-rated researcher and specialist in using GIScience, global positioning systems, and remote sensing applications to solve problems related to climate change and the environment. His research has been extensively supported by the South African Water Research Commission, among others. He was the principal investigator for Africa in the TIGER-Bridge African Water and Climate Change Phase 1 Project (2016-2017).  

His research uses cutting-edge satellite and in-situ earth observation technologies coupled with machine learning techniques to track and understand the impacts of climate change, and to monitor water resources, vegetation, land degradation, land cover/use change, and wildlife/livestock. His project seeks to push the boundaries on the use of methodologies and data to monitor invasive species in water-limited areas and to understand their implications on water resources. Findings from this study will demonstrate the value of geospatial techniques in landscape scale invasive plants monitoring using near-real time satellite data.

Adanna Henri-Ukoha, Nigeria
Lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Henri-Ukoha obtained a PhD in Agricultural Economics – Resource and Environmental Economics Bias from the Federal University of Technology in Owerri Imo State, Nigeria. She has published extensively, received an award from the Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economics conference in 2017 for the RAAF-ECOWAS-PASSANO project, and participated in the RUFORUM Academic Staff Exchange Fellowship program in 2017/2018 at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi.

Her project will seek to identify and assess the cost-benefits of adaptation options used by farmers in southern Nigeria. The research will be used in an effort to encourage the adoption of viable climate change adaptation strategies that will improve agricultural production and rural livelihoods and, ultimately, lead to higher income levels through food security at local and national levels.

Muhire Innocent, Rwanda
Senior lecturer at the University of Rwanda – College of Education

Muhire holds a PhD in Environmental Management from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His extensive experience includes program advisory services in natural resources, environmental management, climate change, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, geographic information science, and related fields for governmental and non-governmental institutions.

His study will investigate the response of cash crops, such as coffee and tea, to ongoing climate changes and will assess the expected impacts of projected changes in rainfall and temperatures on cash crops in Rwanda. Soil will also be analyzed to detect the most suitable agro-climatic zones in the country to grow cash crops in the future, in order to help transition from a state of unpreparedness to actionable knowledge, prevention, and response mechanisms within a specific agricultural season.

Lindani Ncube, South Africa
Researcher at the University of South Africa

Ncube holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. She has received a number of awards, including a Geological Society of South Africa research grant, a National Natural Science Foundation of China/National Research Foundation of South Africa research grant, a National Research Foundation of South Africa’s Innovative Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and has co-authored several peer-reviewed papers in international journals. Her research interests span geology and geochemistry.   

In an effort to capture significant river evolution events and to explore the effects of climate change on fluvial erosion and drainage area adjustment, her project will seek to establish sedimentary accumulation rates and provenance variation records from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program cores surrounding southern Africa.