I am currently pursuing my PhD in Food Science and Nutrition at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. My research is on documenting the recipes for AIVs, then determining the nutritive value of the AIVs. I am also studying meal habits of Kenyan households from an anthropological perspective. The study is supervised by Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango.
I joined HORTINLEA in 2014 on SP7b under the supervision of Prof. Christine Bauhardt. The SP studies meal cultures, where the knowledge of preparation of AIVs, serving and eating are the focus. Also, the gender-powered hierarchies and socio-ecological settings influencing food security are considered. This introduces a new perspective into my profession in nutrition. My research covers three areas, i.e. Nairobi (urban), Nakuru (peri-urban) and Kakamega (rural). This requires a lot of traveling between the areas, and also to the households where the research has to be conducted.
I hold a Master of Science degree in Community Nutrition from Maseno University and I have been involved in various research projects on AIVs in Kenya. Between 2002 and 2004 while studying for my Master’s degree, I conducted documentation of AIVs in western Kenya, funded by International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (now Bioversity). This was in partnership with Rural Outreach Program (now Rural Outreach Africa), a non-governmental organisation working in the region. In 2005, I was a research assistant to Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango on her project involving AIVs in the Lake Victoria region. I have continued to work on AIVs closely with the local communities in Kenya.
After completing my Doctoral degree, I would like to conduct a post-doctoral study on AIVs because there are still many gray areas with regard to cooking and consumption, and maximising the nutritional benefits.