Meet the early career researchers taking African phenology research to the next level…
Bismark is a lecturer and PhD candidate based in Ghana. He studies liana ecology in tropical forests and has a special interest in ecosystem services. He joined the APN steering group in 2020.
Position: Lecturer/PhD Candidate at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana/Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
About: Bismark’s research focuses on tropical forest ecology with specific interests in liana ecology, liana phenology and liana contribution to forest ecosystem services. At the moment, Bismark is conducting observations on liana phenology in three ecosystem types in Ghana (wet evergreen, moist semi-deciduous and dry semi-deciduous forests). He has previously worked on edge effects on liana community structure and liana-tree host interactions as well as examining impact of wildfire and logging chronosequence on liana structure.
Role at the APN: Bismark is interested in leading new networking initiatives, reaching out to established and new phenologists (students and early career) on the continent mainly through social media (twitter) and monitoring publications to keep track on phenology output. Bismark is also interested in starting and sustaining new phenology observations, promoting a replica of “citizen science” type of phenological observations and making phenology a popular science in Africa. Bismark is looking forward to sharing his expertise in the use of ODK forms for data collection, reviewing grant applications, writing policy briefs and engaging governments, encouraging national institutions (forest/wildlife service agencies and research institutions) to take up and sustain phenology projects started by individuals or APN.
Hervé is a Gabonese researcher studying for his PhD in the USA. His research focuses on tropical forest dynamics in relation to human-wildife interactions. He joined the APN steering group in 2020.
Position: PhD candidate at the University of Oregon, Oregon, USA
About: Hervé is from Gabon where he is conducting his main research around forest dynamics in relation to human-wildlife interaction. Hervé’s research focuses on terrestrial ecosystems, their health and functionality when being exploited or under climate change impact: specially the dynamic of the equatorial rainforest functionality and health to continue to provide ecosystem services to local communities and the world. He publishes scientific papers in international journals and has collaborated with different international organisations. His core scientific expertise lies in plant life cycle science (phenology), tropical forest ecosystems and its land use, climate impacts on plants and the interaction between human-plant-animal.
Role: Hervé is keen to look at ways to collaborate between African countries and other tropical forested countries around the world. This general goal could be divided into short term and long term goals. The short term goal will be to participate in the increase of tropical phenology long term study in equatorial rainfall forest with a standard method to guide this ecosystem conservation and importance under climate change impact. The long term is to expand this standard phenology method to other forest types in Africa and the rest of the world.
Emma is a postdoc based in the UK. Her research focuses on plant ecology and the biodiversity and climate crises. She founded the APN in 2017 and currently chairs the steering group.
Position: Postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK
About: Emma’s research focuses on plants, their role in human society and the climate and biodiversity crises. She publishes scientific papers in international journals and provides policy briefings to governments. Her core scientific expertise lies in plant life cycle science (phenology), tropical forest ecosystems, climate impacts on plants and the role of plants in urban resilience and climate adaptation. Emma has been actively involved in plant phenology research since she started her PhD at Lope National Park, Gabon in 2013.
Role at the APN: Current chair of the steering group. Founded the African Phenology Network in 2017 during her PhD at the University of Stirling, funded by the National Parks Agency, Gabon.
Asenath is a research scientist specialising in forest genetics and molecular ecology. She recently entered the phenology world via her work on important agroforestry trees in Kenyan drylands.
Position: Research scientist at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Kenya.
About: Asenath is a research scientist, working with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute. Her area of specialization is in biodiversity and conservation. She is currently working on Moringa tree phenology and genetic variation; a very important Agro-forestry tree which can be used both for domestic and commercial purposes
Role at the APN: Asenath joined the APN steering group in March 2021.