Dr. Judith Okello

Dr. Okello has worked along the coast of Kenya in different organizations and in varying capacities for well over 10 years, a period during which she has gained a wide range of experience in ecological management of coastal resources.  At KMFRI, she is currently serving as a Senior Research Scientist mainly working in the mangrove ecosystem with special interests in stress-driven physico-chemical dynamics and the associated physio-anatomical response of mangrove trees.  Dr. Okello has played a pivotal role in development of a number of key documents which are instrumental in the management of Coastal ecosystems including, The National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan- Launched in 2017; and The Second Edition of the State of Coast Report (2018) among others. She represents KMFRI in the National Mangrove Management Committee- which plays a technical advisory role to the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) in matters pertaining to KFS implementation of the management plans in the mangrove ecosystem. She has also demonstrated excellent skills in interacting with the local communities while creating awareness on conservation of forest resources. She is currently collaborating with the Wetland International in championing for the concept of Community Based Ecosystem Restoration (CBEMR) along the Coast.

KMFRI Mombasa
Oceanography and Hydrography
Ecosystems’ response to disturbance, Restoration ecology, Community awareness, population dynamics
  • PhD: Bio-engineering Sciences
  • MSC: Master in Ecological Marine Management (ECOMAMA) - Option of Marine Pollution and Risk Management.
  • BSC: Forestry
  • Okello J.A., Osuka K.E., Maina G.W., Mbugua J., Samoilys M.A, 2022. The structure of the mangrove forests of Kiunga-Pate Island conservancies in Kenya are shaped by selective harvesting and natural mortalities Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 272. Doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2022.107885

  • Kimeli A., Ocholla O., Okello J.A., KoedamN., Westphal H., Kairo J., 2021. Geochemical and petrographic characteristics of sediments along transboundary (Kenya-Tanzania) Umba River as indicators of provenance and weathering. Open Geosciences 13:1064-1083

  • Kimeli A., Cherono s., Mutisya B., Tamooh F., Okello J., Westphal H., Koedam N., Kairo J., 2021. Tracing organic matter sources in the estuarine sediments of Vanga, Kenya, and provenance implications. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 263 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107636

  • Emmanuel Japhet E., Mangora M., Carl C. Trettin C.C., Okello J.A., 2019. Natural recovery of mangroves in abandoned rice farming areas of the Rufiji Delta, Tanzania. WIO Journal of Marine Science 18(2) 25-36

  • Okello J.A., Alati V., Kodikara S., Kairo J.G., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Nico K., 2019. The status of Mtwapa Creek mangroves as perceived by the local communities. WIO Journal of Marine Science 18(1) 67-81

  • Okello J.A, Kairo J.G, Dahdouh- Guebas F, Beeckman H, Koedam N (2019) Mangroves survive partial burial by developing new roots and adapting their root and stem anatomy. Trees DOI 10.1007/s00468-019-01895-6
  • Okello  J.A., Robert E.M.R., Beeckman H.,  Kairo J.G., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Nico K., 2017. Hydraulic conductivity and xylem structure of partially buried mangrove trees. Plant and Soil DOI 10.1007/s11104-017-3247-4
  • Okello J.A., 2016. Resilience of mangroves in the face of climate change: A focus on impacts of large sedimentation events. WIOMSA Newsbrief 21 (3) Pg.8.
  • De Deurwaerder  H., Okello  J.A., Koedam N., Schmitz N., Steppe K., 2016. How are anatomical and hydraulic features of the mangroves Avicennia marina and Rhizophora mucronata influenced by siltation? Trees DOI 10.1007/s00468-016-1357-x
  • Okello  J.A., Robert E.M.R., Beeckman H.,  Kairo J.G., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Nico K., 2014 Effects of experimental sedimentation on the phenological dynamics and leaf traits of replanted mangroves at Gazi bay, Kenya. Ecology and Evolution 4(16): 3187-3200, doi:10.002/ece3.1154.
  • Okello J.A, Schmitz N., Kairo J.G., Beeckman H., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Koedam N., 2013. Self-sustenance potential of peri-urban mangroves: a case of Mtwapa Creek Kenya.  Journal of Environmental Science and Water Resources 2(8) 277-289.
  • Cohen R., Jelagat J., Okello J.A., Bosire J.O., Kairo J.G., Huxham M., Mencuccini M., 2013. Propagating unceratinity to estimate above-ground biomass for Kenyan mangroves: a scaling procedure from tree to landscape level. Forest Ecology and Management 310: 968-982.
  • Okello J.A., J.G. Kairo and E. O. Okuku, 2011. Challenging poverty in a healthy environment: a case study of the local communities living along Mtwapa creek, Kenya. In, Kamino Yukio and Darwis Khudori (Eds) Towards A Sustainable Ecology.
  • Elisabeth M.R., N. Schmitz, J. A. Okello, I. Boeren, H. Beeckman, N. Koedam, 2011. Mangrove growth rings. Fact or fiction? Trees 25:49-58
  • Lang’at J.K, F. Tamooh, J.A. Okello & J.G. Kairo, 2009.Mangrove plantation experiments for controlling coastal erosion in Kenya; Coastal Ecology Series 9:1-7