Former PhD students

Dr Amaral M. Chibeba, from Mozambique, was awarded a PhD Scholarship by Wageningen University, through the N2Africa Project, and studied at Londrina State University in Brazil (2012 – 2016). He addressed the problem of inoculation barrier imposed by indigenous rhizobia to inoculant rhizobial strains resulting in low inoculation responses and low yields in soyabean. Amaral Chibeba hypothesized that indigenous rhizobia with potential for use in inoculants for soyabean do exist in Mozambican soils and the if elite indigenous rhizobia are inoculated back in their original soils will perform better than the exogenous strains. A total of 87 indigenous rhizobial strains collected in Mozambique was screened in the greenhouse in Brazil along reference strains used in inoculants for soyabean in Brazil (SEMIA 587, SEMIA 5019, SEMIA 5079 and SEMIA 5080) and in many countries including Africa (USDA 110). Five indigenous strains from Mozambique had similar or better symbiotic effectiveness than the reference strains suggesting that the inoculation with indigenous rhizobia adapted to local conditions represents a possible strategy for increasing soyabean yields in Mozambique.
Dr. Chibeba is currently working for IITA as Postdoctoral Fellow and the main objective of his position is to evaluate the performance of the five promising indigenous strains identified in his PhD studies under field conditions.

Dr George Mwenda wrote: “One year after graduating, I conduct laboratory teaching at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia in units for students enrolled in Crop and Pasture Science, Veterinary Science and other Biological Science Degree programs. In this role, I teach students theoretical coursework knowledge, demonstrate research and experimental skills, and supervise research projects. I am also actively involved in N2 fixation research at the Centre for Rhizobium Studies, Murdoch University, where as a Research Associate I participate in various BNF research activities. For further details on ongoing research at the CRS, use the following link:”

Dr Esther Ronner wrote: After defending my PhD in April 2018, I continued working in N2Africa as a postdoc. I am involved in the coordination of N2Africa’s impact assessment. My practical experience in data collection (measurements in the field, surveys) are of great value to understand what would and would not be possible to measure in a household survey. The qualitative data collection methods that I applied in my PhD also helped to contribute alternative methods for impact assessment. A major aim of my PhD was to understand the role of legumes in the wider farming system, and to assess which criteria farmers’ (and other stakeholders) use to evaluate benefits of and constraints for legume cultivation. The ability to look beyond yields, beyond the field level and beyond ‘the average farmer’ is something that I will not only apply in my continued work for N2Africa, but also in future jobs.

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