President, Western Indian Ocean Marine Sciences Association
Dr. Jacqueline Uku is the Senior Research Officer and Research Coordinator for the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, as well as the President of the board of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association. In this latter role her focus has been to strengthen country offices and to build partnerships for research and management within the Western Indian Ocean Region. From 2011 to 2017, she served as the Project Coordinator for the World Bank funded Kenya Coastal Development Project (KCDP), which focused on the development of the fisheries sector, natural resource management and support for alternative livelihoods. She has contributed to the development of Kenya’s National Environmental Policy, and serves as the Co-chair of the Editorial Board for the development of the 2nd Edition of the Global Ocean Science Report which is being undertaken by IOC-UNESCO.
Dr. Uku’s background is in the ecology and physiology of marine flora with a special interest in seagrasses or the savannas of the sea. Over the years her work has broadened from focusing on the biology and ecology of the marine ecosystem to working to change how communities view their resources, recognizing their custodianship of these resources and the livelihoods that revolve around these resources. It is her desire not only to inspire the next generation of scientists but also to bring an understanding of our science to the governments and nationals of our great region.