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Caroline Ochieng-Erftemeijer

Dr, MSc Lond.

  • The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of New Hampshire, U.S.A., September, 2008

Title: “Survival strategies of eelgrass in reduced light”.
Research: Effect of low light on photosynthesis, growth and reproductive characteristics of eelgrass plants in Great Bay estuary, NH (USA) through mesocosm shading experiments; effect of pulsed turbidity on survival of intertidal eelgrass in the Wadden Sea (Netherlands); seasonal survival strategies of eelgrass at the maximum depth limit, Great Bay estuary, NH (USA).

M.Sc. in Environmental Management (with distinction), University of London, U.K., 1999
Topics: Principles in Environmental Management, Economics and Sociology for Environmental Management, Water Resource Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Auditing, and Environmental Science.

B.Sc. in Biology, (Honors) Egerton University, Kenya, 1993
Honors Topics: Botany and Zoology - (i)Epidemiology of sweet potato Feathery Mottle Virus and Mild Mottle Virus on four potato varieties in Kenya
(ii)The ocular anatomy of Micropterus salmoides from Lake Naivasha.

Previous positions

-Project Manager, 2010-2011
EUCC Coastal & Marine Union, Leiden, THE NETHERLANDS
-Project Coordinator, 2003-2005
Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, USA
-Environmental Consultant, 2001–2002
IUCN - the World Conservation Union - Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA
-Short-term Consultant, March-April, 2000
Wetlands International-Thailand Programme, Hat Yai, THAILAND
-Project Officer, 1997-1999
Wetlands International-Thailand Programme, Hat Yai, THAILAND
Project Officer, 1997 - 1999
Wetlands International-Thailand Programme, Hat Yai, THAILAND
-Research Officer, 1993 –1996
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Mombasa (KMFRI), KENYA

Current projects

1. Coordinator - Pilbara Marine Conservation Partnership (PMCP)'s Coral Reef Project funded by the Net Conservation Benefits Advisory Board. More than 20 scientists from UWA and CSIRO are involved in this cross disciplinary project undertaking the first regional-scale assessments of the remote West Pilbara Marine environment. Researchers involved in the project are developing maps, and modelling connectivity and the relationships between different marine habitats as well as establishing long-term studies to understand the environmental pressures on- and the dynamics and rates of recovery of the coral reef ecosystem and the near-coast areas across the west Pilbara region.

2. I am currently leading an international synthesis working Group "Resolving Global Ocean challenges using ecosystem Engineers" Marine and coastal ecosystems worldwide are under increasing pressure from coastal urbanisation, infrastructural development and climate-change, causing widespread environmental degradation. Conventional engineering approaches to address these challenges are costly and often ineffective. A synthesis working group comprising some of the brightest brains from 18 institutes internationally are exploring the potential of using marine engineering species (plants and animals that modify their environment) to reverse this trend. Through a series of workshops, the team will generate new scientific insights and ideas to help solve this global ocean challenge, with potentially far-reaching applications and unique opportunities for ground-breaking collaborative research.


Tolerance, survival, acclimation and plasticity of the widely-distributed Zostera marina - eelgrass: Understanding the mechanisms of survival of eelgrass under extreme light reduction in coastal waters informs coastal managers on critical thresholds for light limitation, enanbling them to predict shor-term human perturbations and hence makes significant contributions to efforts to manage water quality.


English (fluent)
Dutch (fluent)
Swahili (fluent)
Luo (mother tongue)
Thai (proficient)


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