Bio

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She is a Full Professor in Soil Ecology, and Director of Microbial Resources Centre, University of Nairobi. She has many years of experience in BNF with legumes in SAA including managing inoculant production and use by farmers. She has also coordinated urban agriculture and it plays in addressing food insecurity and livelihoods to the urban poor and other related issues in SSA and has published widely in this subject. Professor Karanja was the sub-Saharan Africa regional coordinator for Urban Harvest, an initiative to enhance urban agriculture’s potential and food security in Kenya. She previously Served as Senior Research Officer Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), 1989-90 and Principal Research Officer Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) 1990-93, Senior Lecturer       University of Nairobi, 1993-2000 and Associate Professor 2000-2007.She has been a Consultant       for Urban Harvest-International Potato Centre from 2004 to-date. She is a former                                                        Chairperson, Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, 1996 – June, 2002; Director,  Microbial Resource Centre (MIRCEN) Nairobi; Vice Chairperson, African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF);President, African Association for Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF);Country Technical Coordinator and member of the Global Project Steering Committee (PSC) , UNEP-GEF on Conservation and Sustainable Management of Belowground Biodiversity (BGBD) project; Coordinator, Solid Waste Management Network (WASTENET);Academic Board Member, St Paul University, Limuru and a Vice Chairperson, PCEA HIV/AIDs Council. She has been in charge of many research projects including, Biodiversity and populations of indigenous rhizobia populations in soils of East and Southern Africa; On-farm trials on the effects of rhizobia inoculants on performance of grain legume; Improvement of the rhizobia inoculant production and utilization by the smallholder farmers within Eastern and Southern African region; Distribution, abundance and diversity of nematodes associated with common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and their effects on bean growth and nodulation in smallholder farms in Kiambu and Siaya, Kenya; Urban solid waste management, urban and peri-urban agriculture programmes; Improvement of sweetpotato production through integrated approaches, among others. She has taught in both B.Sc and M.Sc Programmes in Soil Fertility and Microbiology; Soil Organisms and Biochemistry; Degradation of synthetic and organic molecules and Pesticide microbiology and geochemical cycles leading to environmental pollution. She has supervised over 30 post graduate students. She is an active Member of Soil Science Society of East Africa (SSSEA), ISSSS; African Association of Biological Nitrogen Fixation (AABNF); African Crop Science Society (ACS); African Network for Agroforestry Education (ANAFE); Rhizobium Ecology Network for East and Southern Africa (RENEASA); Kenya Microbiology Society (KMS) and Urban Waste Management (WASTENET) task force (Nairobi).Her research grants include: Ecology of indigenous Rhizobia populations in soils of Eastern and Southern Africa:  Network Approach (RENEASA) Phase I&II.  Funded by Rockefeller Foundation and UNESCO, 1994-1996 – US$ 80,000; RENEASA:  Phase II.  Funded by Rockefeller Foundation, 1998-2000 – US$ 58,000; Organic matter management in smallholder farmers in Central Kenya Highlands. Funded by Rockefeller Foundation, 1995-2001 – US$ 164,000, among others.

 

 

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