Kenyan partners at TUM

Two Kenyan scientists, Prof. Dr. Halimu Suleiman Shauri and Dr. Ali Maarifa from Pwani University Kilifi, and four students, Lynn Janet Njeri Njuguna, Bonventure Mwanzi Obeka, Noreen Mukhwana Mutoro, and Ruth Lozi Muranga from Pwani University and Taita Taveta University visited the Chair of Terrestrial Ecology, Technical University Munich, from 16th of October till 12th of November 2017. Our visitors attended various activities (lectures, workshops, brainstorming, practical work in various laboratories) at Technical University Munich. We analysed our data collected in and around the Arabuko Sokoke forest during spring 2017. We also discussed the upcoming activities in spring and summer 2018 in Kenya which will take place in the framework of the Quality Network Biodiversity Kenya. An overview of all activities during this stay is provided here (programme overview). Further details about the two-days workshop held are given in the following timetable (programme of the workshop), and a flyer (workshop announcement). Find below some impressions of the Kenyan delegation at TUM in the laboratories and the chair of Terrestrial Ecology.

Apart from our activities in our laboratories and the workshop discussions we also had exciting activities during weekends, as an excusion to Munich, visiting the Impact Hub Munich, having a tour through the German Museum, and traveling to Königsee.

The 2017 DAAD Quality Network Exchange was an exciting experience as it offered a great opportunity for us, as participating students, to apply and learn a myriad of vital research techniques in the various working packages we worked with. The theme of the network coincided precisely with our research interests in environmental education, environmental protection, livelihood and its resultant challenges. More so, this being a rare chance to get to interact with students from German Universities, we definitely got deeper and valuable insights in our respective research and academic interests both from a local and international perspective. 

During the one month exchange visit at TUM’s Freising Campus, we had a chance to do hands on data analysis on the data collected during the fieldwork at Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Moreover, we attended very interesting and insightful seminars where we did a one on one brainstorm on potential study research proposals. Additionally we attended lectures on various themes, worked closely with both the teaching staff and students at TUM on select projects in the laboratory such as insect sorting, mounting of beetles for expert identification and molecular genetic studies on European hedgehogs that was part of a citizen science project and also helped sort and analyse data collected on land use and environmental education.  

During this time we had a chance to explore the beautiful German landscape and experience the rich German culture and food. Our outdoor activities involved excursions to the beautiful Alps and the phenomenal visit to Munich museums, English Garden and the Impact Hub. It is undeniably a fact that the entire activities both in Kenya and Germany opened great doors for networking both socially and career wise.

The exchange visit in wholesome offered a great eye opener and learning experience. We hope that the university cooperation and DAAD Quality Network Exchange will continue to inspire more students  to benefit and widen their horizon of their imagination, even greater than it did to us, to make the world a better place! Special thanks to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for funding the exchange visit, the entire Chair of Terrestrial Ecology and Land Ecology in Freising and Munich respectively for being such a wonderful host.” (Halimu Suleiman Shauri, Ali Maarifa, Obeka Bonventure, Noreen Mutoro, Lynn Njuguna and Ruth Lozi)