Helida Oyieke head shot

Helida Oyieke, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, 2010-2011


I am a Fulbright scholar and UNE Research Associate with a keen interest in environmental research particularly those leaning towards biodiversity and its conservation in Kenya and Africa at large. Throughout my research career I have alternated between academics, research positions and the administration as well as implementation of institutional research programs in the East African region. My interest and extensive experience in environmental research, policy and advocacy has seen me serve on various local and international boards, committees and taskforces. Being a founding member of the Kenya Professional Association of Women in Agriculture and Environment (KEPAWAE), I am well versed with matters of gender and the environment. In addition, I particularly get fulfilled when I see my work make a difference in the lives of communities around wetlands while sustainably utilizing resources thereof. Presently, I serve National Museums of Kenya as Chief Research Scientist where I continue to provide leadership in research while mentoring and supervising up-coming researchers in my field of expertise.



University of Nairobi, Kenya
University of Nairobi, Kenya
University of Nairobi, Kenya


Current research

i)Wetlands in East Africa: Reconciling future food production with environmental protection; ii) Enhancing the Capacity of Young Women Scientists and Grassroots Women in ST& I through Training, Mentorship, Networking and Technology Uptake; iii) The Agro-biodiversity of Mau Forest Complex in Kenya

Selected publications

Referenced Journals

  1. Otieno, E. N., Oyieke, H. A., Ogoma, M. (2012). Bird Density and Distribution Patterns in Relation to Anthropogenic Habitat Modification around an East African Estuary. Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. Vo.l 10, No. 2, pp. 191-200.
  2. Miguel Alvarez, Mathias Becker, Beate Böhme, Collins Handa, Matthias Josko, Hellen W. Kamiri, Matthias Langensiepen, Gunter Menz, Salome Misana, Neema G. Mogha, Bodo Maria Möseler, Emiliana J. Mwita, Helida A. Oyieke & Nomé Sakané (2012). Floristic classification of the vegetation in small wetlands of Kenya and Tanzania. Biodiversity and Ecology, Vol. 4: 63–76, Sept. 12.
  3. Becker, M., Oyieke, H., Lanyasunya, P.T. (2012): Functions and Uses of Wetlands in changing Savannah Environments. In: Resilience, Collapse, Reorganisation in social-ecological systems. University of Cologne, Germany.
  4. Handa, C., Alvarez M., Becker, M., Oyieke, H., Möseler, B.M., Mogha, N., Kamiri, H. (2012). Opportunistic vascular plant introductions in agricultural wetlands of East Africa. International Journal of AgriScience. Vol. 2(9): 810-830. September 2012.
  5. Sakané, N., Alvarez, M., Becker, M., Böhme, B., Handa, C., Kamiri, H., Langensiepen, M., Menz, G., Misana, S., Mogha, N., Möseler, B., Mwita, E., Oyieke, H., van Wijk, M., (2011). Classification, Characterisation, and Use of Small Wetlands in East Africa. Wetlands, 1-14. (Online )
  6. Bolton, J. J., Oyieke, H. A. and Gwada, P. (2007).  The Seaweeds of Kenya: Checklist, history of seaweed study, coastal environment, and analysis of seaweed diversity and biogeography. South African Journal of Botany 73: 76-88.
  7. Mwayuli, G. A., Manohar, S. and Oyieke, H. A. (2003). Status of Seaweed Research in Kenya. African Environmental Review. Vol. 1: pp24-35.
  8. Mwayuli, G. A. and Oyieke, H. A. (2003). Macroalgal a-diversity in relation to water quality in the intertidal zones at two locations on the Kenyan North Coast. East African Journal of Humanities and Sciences. Vol. 3: No 1-2 Jan-Dec.
  9. Oyieke, H. A. and Kokwaro, J. O. (1995). Distribution ecology of Gracilaria  species (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) along the Kenya coast. S. Afr. J. Mar. Sci.. 15:43-48
  10. Oyieke H. A. (1994). The effect of Phenotypic plasticity on agar from Gracilaria salicornia (J. Ag.) Dawson (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) in Kenya. Bioresource  Tech. 49:267-271
  11. Oyieke, H. A. and Kokwaro, J. O (1993).  Seasonality pattern of some Kenyan Gracilaria species (Gracilariales Rhodophyta). J. Appl. Phycol. 5(1): 123-124.
  12. Oyieke, H. A. (1993).  The yield, physical and chemical properties of agar gel from the Gracilarias (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) of the Kenya Coast.  Hydrobiologia 260/261: 613-620.
  13. Oyieke, H. A. and Misra, A. K. (1987).  The effects of fertilizers on the activity of Nitrate reductase in the roots and leaves of Sorghum bicolor at different growth stages. Kenya J. Sci. (B) 7 (1):23 - 28.
  14. Oyieke, H. A. and Ruwa, R. K. (1987).  Non-encrusting macroalgal zonation on rocky cliffs around Mombasa, Kenya. Kenya J. Sci. (B) 8(1-2):79 - 98.


  1. Becker, M., Alvarez, M, Behn, K., Handa, C., Misana, S., Mogha, N., Möseler, B.M., Oyieke, H. (2014). Small wetlands in East Africa: A field guide to the representative flora. Selbstverlag, Bonn. Germany. 202 pp.  ISBN 978-3-00-047349-4.
  2. GoK, Oyieke, H., Handa, C. and Terer, T. (2005). Kenya Lakes at a Glance. Picasso Productions Ltd. Nairobi, p 20.
  3. Oyieke, H., Khayota, B., Kamondo, B., Ochuodho, T., Gichuki, N., Malo, M. and Busienei, W. (Eds.) (2004). Sustainable Biodiversity Management for Reduced Community Vulnerability to Drought. Proceedings of 4th RPSUD Regional Workshop, Held in L. Bogoria, Kenya, October 1-3, 2003.

Book Chapters

1.      Oyieke, H. A. (2006). Conserving Kenya’s Marine Biodiversity in the 21st Century. In: Environment and Development in Kenya - Biodiversity. Pp. 15-30. Kenya National Academy of  Sciences.

  1. Oyieke, H. A. (1998). Seaweed Resources of Kenya. In: Seaweed Resources of The World. Critchley A. T. and Ohno, M.(Eds.).  Japan International Cooperation Agency, pp. 385-388
  2. Oyieke, H. A (1996). Kenya Coastal Ecosystems and Global Climate Change.  In: Environment and Development, Kenya National Academy of Sciences, pp. 1-14.
  3. Kibet, S. and Oyieke, H. A., (2009). Possible Integration of Traditional Knowledge, Gender roles and Beliefs in Modern Conservation. A commissioned Study for Research Programme on Sustainable Use of Dryland Biodiversity (RPSUD Proceedings). p 59

Research interests

My main research interest is the field of marine plants, the mainstay of the marine environment. I study the diversity of these plants and their conservation needs. Conservation concerns for marine plants have made me embrace environmental conservation as a whole since what goes on in terrestrial ecosystems eventually impacts on their environment in the sea. Engaging in environmental conservation activities and working with natural resource users and managers at community levels, have especially drawn my interests in gender roles in environmental conservation efforts. My stay at UNE while on sabbatical leave (2010/2011 academic year) as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence, provided me with a rare opportunity to interact with communities and an environment beyond my home country Kenya, and to exchange experiences and knowledge in subject areas of mutual interest.