Dr. Nina Wambiji has been re-elected unopposed as the Country Coordinator for Kenya. Nina is the Assistant Director- Fisheries at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa Centre, Kenya. She holds a PhD degree in Marine Environmental Sciences (Fish Physiology) from University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. Nina has diverse research interests which include (i) using molecular techniques to explore fish physiology and its utility in the exploitation of fish among coastal fishing communities, (ii) examining the ecology of marine invertebrates, near-shore fish species and large pelagics, and marine mammals, and their importance in the sustainable use and management, and (iii) the management of Marine Biodiversity Data through the African Register of Marine Species (AfreMas) http://www.marinespecies.org/afremas/ among other areas. Some of her work includes overseeing a regional project (BY-Catch Assessment and Mitigation in Western Indian Ocean Fisheries (BYCAM)) in three countries funded by WIOMSA -MASMA (https://bycamwio.weebly.com/about-bycam.html). In 2013, Dr. Nina won the African Women in Agriculture and Research Development (AWARD) fellowship.
For this second term, Dr. Wambiji aspires to continue promoting the awareness about WIOMSA, its activities, and encourage membership and participation, enhancing scientific interest among junior and upcoming scientists in Kenya as the majority of the Kenya membership consists of young people. Nina sees nurturing their interest in marine science as key to ensuring high quality of scientific work in the WIO. She also aims to encourage participatory research in applied sciences relevant to the coastal communities where the impacts will directly be felt by the stakeholders, increase visibility of work undertaken by Kenyan scientists in different fora , hold country meetings (scientists, policy makers, the private sector and government institutions), promote collaboration with other donors and stakeholders to support WIOMSA activities and build up teams of experts in different fields to run multidisciplinary research with scientists in the Western Indian Ocean region and worldwide.