East African Regional Hub (Led by the University of Nairobi)

Core Team

Shem is a Professor of Chemistry and Acting Director of the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation. Shem’s research interests lie in studying sources and sinks of biogenic gases; persistent organochlorine pesticides in the tropics; trace metal concentrations in various environments; complexes of Group VB metals with sulphur- and oxygen-binding ligands; and climate change and health.

Silas is a Senior Researcher in the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation. His research focuses on Society, Communication and Media.

George is a researcher with over 30 years’ of teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As an environmental lawyer, he has also more recently proposed the imperative of international jurisdiction over national forest management on the basis of Indigenous knowledges and cultures, such as those of the Ogiek of Kenya in the Mau Forest conflict.

Gilbert is a lecturer in the Department of Meteorology, and specialises in remote sensing and satellite meteorology. Through his involvement in several applied research projects Gilbert has acquired broad experience in participatory action research and climate change adaptation.


Jacinta is a Senior lecturer in Philosophy and Media studies and an Associate at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation. She is currently the lead Kenyan researcher in a collaborative project with colleagues from the University of Leeds and London School of Economics on information in climate change adaptation in rural Kenya.

Kenneth holds a PhD in Environmental Governance and Management from the University of Nairobi. His research topics have spanned the environment, energy, migration, the blue economy, and governance. His primary focus is on how off-grid regions can benefit from renewable energy, notably biogas and solar energy. Currently, he is working with communities in Vihiga County of western Kenya with the potential of working in other parts of the country, and is drafting a proposal for the County Government of Vihiga that highlights benefits of clean energy and the need for official support in this venture.

Daniel is Associate Professor at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, and the Department of Geology at the University of Nairobi. His current research focuses on the interactions of groundwater, surface water, climate, environment and human linkages, with a special focus on eastern Africa. He has been involved in capacity strengthening activities in local, regional and international contexts and for a diverse range of stakeholders – from grassroots levels, to management, policy-making groups and government agencies.

Maggie has researched and published widely on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change in Africa. She was the climate change impact, vulnerability and adaptation expert during the formulation of the IGAD Regional Climate Change Strategy 2016. She was a coordinating lead author of Chapter 13 (Livelihoods and Poverty) of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II and is one of the founding members of the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation.

Damaris has taught at the University of Nairobi’s Chemistry Department for 17 years and has been an associate at the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation for five years. Part of her research focuses on green energy, particularly the conversion of garbage into electricity (microbial fuel cells) and methane gas.

Southern Africa Regional Hub (Led by the University of Cape Town)

Core Team

Mark is the Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative, and AXA Research Order of Chair in African Climate Risk. His research has spanned climate change detection, attribution, impacts and adaptation. More recently he has focused on quantifying and adapting to the changing risks of damaging climate events in southern Africa, on climate adaptation knowledge systems, and on understanding barriers and enablers to effective climate adaptation responses.

Sheona is the Deputy Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative. She has worked at the interface between rural development, livelihoods and natural resource use and management for the past 35 years. In her work she has covered a diversity of areas such as community conservation, rural livelihoods and vulnerability, ecosystem services and human wellbeing, forest product use and commercialisation, natural resource governance and climate change adaptation. Sheona’s current research focuses on livelihood and landscape (social-ecological) change, with a particular interest in how climate change drives and interacts with other shocks and stressors to influence adaptation, transformation, and future livelihood trajectories. Email: sheona.shackleton@uct.ac.za

Michael’s research focuses on the intersection between national and international climate policy processes, supporting countries in the preparation and implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. As part of his PhD research he is currently investigating the role of knowledge systems, policy processes and governance in the development and implementation of NDCs in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. 

Leigh is the Manager of the Education & Capacity Development Portfolio at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Her role entails overseeing the existing program of formal and professional courses and student programs, supporting curriculum development, helping to conceptualise and develop new programs, and building ACDI’s understanding of best practice in climate change education in Africa. During her five years at ACDI, she has worked on or developed over a dozen projects in these areas, including the development of an innovative Masters curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development for Southern Africa.

Jiska de Groot Jiska is a Senior Researcher at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Her research interests are in the social processes surrounding energy access, low-carbon energy transitions, and energy and climate justice. Jiska has worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa, including in Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Gambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles and Malawi. Email: jiska.degroot@uct.ac.za

Britta is a Senior Researcher at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Her research focuses on climate policy and technology in developing countries, and the links between poverty, inequality, energy and mitigation of climate change. Britta has worked primarily on the overall question on integrating policies on emissions reductions, energy supply and socio-economic development in Africa and Latin America. Email: britta.rennkamp@uct.ac.za

Dr Petra Holden is a transdisciplinary conservation scientist specialises in research on nature-based solutions. Crossing natural and social sciences, her work intersects social equity, water security, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and climate change. Her past research includes attributing the impacts of climate change on water security and quantifying how well nature-based solutions can offset anthropogenic climate change impacts. Currently, her focus is on research to inform nature-based solutions that are more equitable and sustainable at local levels while accounting for changes in the climate. In 2023, Petra’s work on nature-based solutions was recognised on an international stage through receiving the Frontiers Planet Prize, which awards research that contributes towards solutions to planetary environmental challenges. Petra also provides nature-based solution science advisory support to policy and practice. This includes serving on an international global advisory panel for gender inclusive nature-based solutions and as an advisor to the South African National Biodiversity Institute for supporting the access of international climate finance for nature-based solution projects and programmes.

For more information on Petra’s research see Google Scholar,  ORCID and the TES NbS project.


Chris has a background in computer science, oceanography and climatology and currently runs the high end computing for the Climate Systems Analysis Group. Through his Senior Fellowship at the African Climate and Development Initiative, he researches urban climate change adaptation, where he aims to support the development of integrated knowledge systems around both urban contexts and climate change in developing nation contexts. His research will inform and guide policy and development in relation to cities and climate change.

Norman joined the African Climate and Development Initiative as Postdoctoral Researcher in February 2018. He has a background in environmental management, common-property resource systems, resource ecology, and local resource governance in communal woodland areas in the former homelands of South Africa. His research focus lies in skills and capacity development for stakeholders, necessary for the adoption of new sustainable energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydro, and biogas in Sub-Saharan Africa; as well as off-grid electrification in informal settlements by social enterprises.

Jessica is a Namibian ecologist with a background in human geography, holding a CR4D and African Women in Climate Change fellowship at the African Climate and Development Initiative. She is also a research associate at the University of York, University of Nairobi, and African Conservation Centre. She uses probabilistic social-ecological modelling and scenario analysis to measure impacts of development on land use change.

Anna is the head of climate services at the Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG). She has a background in climate science and facilitates the robust use of climate information in adaptation decision making. Within CSAG, Anna works at the interface of science and policy, focusing on the transdisciplinary co-production of decision-relevant climate information. She is interested in the application of climate services in an African context, including how aspects such as stakeholder engagement, climate change risk perceptions, values, social norms and policy frameworks influence the design and uptake of climate services.

Gina is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science and Research Chair at the African Climate and Development Initiative. Her work has focused on climate change adaptation, resilience and development through the lens of water and governance. Gina has published widely and been involved in national and international initiatives related to climate change adaptation, including the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 6.

Emily Ojoo-Massawa is a senior climate change advisor with a wealth of experiences in the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement on issues relating to transparency and reporting by Parties. Her work includes providing technical assistance to vulnerable developing countries in the climate change negotiations to the African Group of Negotiators  in particular and to the G77 and China in general, now focusing more on Adaptation, previously covered Mitigation and means of implementation (capacity building, finance and  technology transfer). Emily is currently working with Mott MacDonald as the Senior climate Resilience Lead for Africa

Alice is driven by deep desire to see justice realized in many ways across African contexts, which are plagued by a history of injustice, including various forms of oppression. She is very pleased to have found a way to work towards justice through climate research that prioritizes diverse, lived experiences of climate risk (particularly for marginalized people) in conversation with scientific climate information, and that acknowledges the different (often competing) needs of various actor groups into the future. Alice’s work is rooted in transdisciplinary praxis. She also aims to contribute to growing body of knowledge relevant to transdisciplinary that focuses on (and is generated in) African contexts. Alice is currently finishing a thesis that explores transdisciplinary learning for navigating complex African urban climate risks using expansive learning theory, which centers the transformative agency of participants.

Associate Professor Kirsty Carden has over 30 years of experience working in academia, for government and the private sector in the field of urban water management. She is a Senior Research Officer in the Department of Civil Engineering at UCT and is currently the interim Director for Future Water.

Her research interests include: urban water management and service provision in a South African context, sustainability assessment in water management, and integrated approaches geared towards sustainable urban development and water sensitive cities (including social learning related to water sensitive design).

As a Senior Research officer focused on social sciences and human health around water, Dr Amber Abrams works on numerous projects. Her background is both in public health and anthropology (with specializations in environmental and medical anthropology). She supervises honours, MPH, MA, MSc and PhD students, exploring topics from extreme weather events, health vulnerability indices, and DDT in waterways, to arts-based approaches and citizen science focused on water ways.

Abrams has led a number of projects at Future Water (a transdisciplinary research institute) including A Museum of Watery Relations and Values; borrowing from the concept of a Water Museum this project aims to develop, and collaboratively create, with citizens of South Africa, an engaged water museum and interactive online map of water user and water stories. This interactive hub brings together skills, projects and data, and provides a place for citizens to contribute their own perspectives on water, its values and their interactions with it. The water map is an interactive site providing an easily accessible interface that can become a one-stop-shop for all southern African water related research, and resources. Through this project Amber also engages with young people in discussions around valuations of water.   Amber is interested in working to inform citizens to enable them to feel confident in their expertise as people who value water. She does this through workshops, public engagements, and inviting people to voice their own forms of knowledge and expertise.

Amber works in a participatory fashion to understand different ways in which people make use of, value and innovate around water. This focus, includes interviews and time spent at water sources to understand how water access points foster relationships and connections across space and time. Similarly, Amber is interested in publics perceptions, responses and experiences with water sensitive design and sustainable urban drainage.

Anna’s research addresses questions of climate adaptation in cities, particularly developing a process-based understanding of how urban climate adaptation happens and is organized or governed. Anna is currently involved in the Future Resilience of African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) project, within the UK-funded Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) programme. FRACTAL is a 4 year project coordinated by UCT’s Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG). The project aims to advance scientific knowledge about regional climate variability and change in southern Africa and work with decision makers to integrate this scientific knowledge into climate-sensitive decisions at the city-regional scale (particularly decisions with a lifespan of 5 to 40 years relating to water and energy systems and services). Anna is also collaborating with colleagues at UCT, the University of KwaZulu Natal and the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research on a multi-disciplinary research project (called CLIMWAYS) that analyses the governance dimensions of water resource management and urban climate change adaptation in the cities of Durban and Cape Town. She is completing her PhD research focusing on the City of Cape Town, investigating three cases of urban climate adaptation as a process of decision-making, namely creating a city development strategy, preparing sectoral climate adaptation plans of action, and the revision of stormwater design parameters to account for changing rainfall patterns. This entailed working as an embedded researcher in the City of Cape Town municipal government between 2012 and 2015 and formed part of the Swedish-funded Mistra Urban Futures (M-UF) programme.

West Africa Regional Hub (Led by the University of Ghana)

Core Team

Prof Appeaning Addo is the Director for the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana. He is : a member of the Expert Group of the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy; technical adviser to the West African coast observation mission; member of the International Pool of Experts, UN Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea; member of several professional bodies; and visiting scholar to universities.

Chris is the former Director of the Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies and is the current CDKN Country Engagement Lead for Ghana. He is an environmental scientist with special interests in the biodiversity and functioning of coastal, wetland and freshwater systems, and many years of experience as a limnologist and aquatic resource management advisor. Over the past three decades, he has been involved in policy development in Ghana for covering environment and natural resource issues. He serves on the UNEP World Adaptation Science Programme and is an Earth Commissioner. Email: cgordon@staff.ug.edu.gh

Albert is a Senior lecturer whose areas of expertise include sustainable development, climate change financing, environmental management and the green economy. Albert has consulted for many global organisations (including the World Bank, USAID, UNEP, UNDP, GIZ, NEPAD, IFAD) on sustainable development, climate change, and disaster risk reduction.

Adelina is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS). She was a member of the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences (formerly Department of Oceanography & Fisheries) for 10 years before transferring to IESS. Adelina’s specific areas of expertise include assessments of the complexities of water quality issues for inland and coastal aquatic systems, and interdisciplinary approaches for understanding the linkages between land use and environmental change.


Robert is a Research Fellow at the Center for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies. His research has focused on environmental learning and climate adaptation knowledge brokerage in climate adaptation planning in multiple sectors and at multiple scales. Robert is currently tracking learning and knowledge development trajectories in Ghana’s on-going National Adaptation Planning (NAP) processes. He is also constructing “Archetypes” of adaptive learning and adaptation knowledge uptake and use in diverse contexts and sectors.

Benedicta is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies and is an agricultural and natural resource scientist. Her research areas include: climate change and adaptation impact assessments, understanding barriers to adaptation to climatic and non-climatic factors, environmental quality and soil pollution. Benedicta has worked on several collaborative research projects with international organisations and governmental departments on topics such as climate change adaptation, community vulnerability and resilience to climate change, early warning systems, and crop modelling.

Dzidzo is an Environmental and Public Health Research Scientist and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies. Her work is focused on water-related diseases, environmental health, and water and sanitation. Her expertise is in community-based studies across Ghana and she has strong community mobilisation and engagement skills as well as project management abilities.

Advisory Board

Dr Addo-Yobo is a member of the Global Council on SDG13, and the Inter-governmental Agency Group on Violence Against Children (IAEG-VAC) measurement. He is the coordinator of Ghana’s SDGs Implementation Coordinating Committee and leads the implementation of strategic actions aimed at promoting inter-sectoral collaborations and multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Dr Barnet manages the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund National Implementing Entity at SANBI.  She conceived and implemented the innovative Small Grants Facility to provide enhanced direct access to Adaptation Fund finance to community organisations.  She has excellent understanding of the African climate finance ecosystem.

Required by UKRI

Dr Mensah-Kutin is Director of ABANTU for Development and assists with the Network of Women’s Rights in Ghana. She serves on the Advisory Board of the International Gender and Energy Network (ENERGIA) which is based in The Netherlands. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the African Women Development Fund.

Prof Muchapondwa is a member of the ACDI Advisory Board, so brings institutional knowledge about ACDI’s position within UCT to the ARUA-CD advisory group.  He is an environmental economist with research and policy expertise in South Africa and SADC, focusing on Economics of Energy and Climate Change, Community-Based Natural Resources Management, Economics of Trans-frontier Conservation Areas, Economic Incentives for Biodiversity on Regional Landscapes and the Economics of Nature-Based Tourism.

Dr Musonda Mumba joined UN Environment in October 2008 and led the Ecosystems based Adaptation (EbA) Mountain Programme, a programmatic alliance with UN Environment, IUCN and UNDP (2011 – 2016) working in Peru, Nepal and Uganda. She has over 20 years’ experience working at both scientific and political levels on climate change adaptation, conservation, protected areas management and wetlands ecology.

Dr. Ochieng has held appointments with several academic, research and civil society organizations. Before joining the African Development Bank, he was Professor of the Practice of Global Development Policy at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University. He has served as the Executive Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Nairobi, Kenya and as the Technical Coordinator of the Business, Economics and Biodiversity Programme of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Eastern and Southern Regional Office in Pretoria South Africa.

Ambassador Ogutu has overseen the preparatory arrangements, management and organization of various international conferences successfully held in Kenya in the last five (5) years. He is presently engaged in preparations for the forthcoming ICPD25 (November 2019), the 9th  Summit of the ACP Heads of State and Government (Nov/Dec 2019) and the UN Oceans 2020 to be co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal in Lisbon (June 2020). He previously oversaw the first-ever Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) held in November 2018 and a little earlier, was Government of  Kenya’s ambassador to Tokyo, Japan.