Casianes Olilo
My studies on Escherichia coli ( coli) has shown that the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats interference/activation is capable of providing a simple and efficient approach in targeting repression or activation of gene expression in the fish genome. This technique is highly flexible and programmable, using an RNA-guided nuclease-deficient Cas9 (dCas9) of E. coli protein fused with transcriptional regulators for targeting specific genes to effect their regulation. In this approach a single guide RNA (sgRNA) directs E. coli nucleolytically deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) with mutations to a specific locus in the fish genome. This was achieved according to the rules of Watson-Crick base-pairing, thus the 20-bp guide sequence at the 5? end (phosphodiester end) of the sgRNA that specifies the target sequence. On the target fish genomic DNA, the adjacent 5?-NGG Protospacer adjacent motif structure after the 20-bp target sequence was required to efficiently direct the dCas9–sgRNA complex to the fish genomic DNA. Although still on the preliminaries, I expect Turkana Laboratory to be a centre of excellence in understanding changes in wild and cultured fish that makes them resistance to adverse conditions and stresses brought about by frequent environmental and micro-climate changes in the wild and culture based fish farms. This study will provide answers to the limited knowledge on mass fish production both in the wild and cultured fish farms given its simplicity and cost effective in producing required complexes to achieve targeted disease free and high yielding fish.
This technology will be combined with fishing gear technology (fishing gear), fish conservation and fish stock assessment to provide a one-stop market for fish production equivalent to non-in the world of fish production and marketing. This technology is expected to alleviate hunger and poverty in developing nations whose annual gross domestic product is still less than 1 trillion dollars, such as Kenya, while answering the government of Kenya’s agenda on food security, vision 2030 and global sustainable development goals number two on food security and hunger.

 Modelling the use of Vegetative Filter Strips in protecting critical habitats of Fish breeding and nursery areas against point and non-point sources of pollution in land-water Eco-tones, satellite lakes, rivers, and Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya.

Conservation and protection of fish breeding and nursery areas in critical habitats of aquatic ecosystems in land-water Eco-tones, satellite lakes, rivers, and Lake Turkana Basin.

Understanding of fishing gear technology (fishing gear) in freshwater ecosystems;

Understanding microbial loops, algal, mycological, fish-health pathological and food webs nexus in aquatic ecosystems in critical habitats of fish breeding and nursery areas in land-water Eco-tones, satellite lakes, rivers, brackish waters and Lake Turkana Basin.

Understanding the dynamics of fisheries biodiversity, abundance, energetics, biomass and populations dynamics in critical habitats of fish breeding and nursery areas in land-water Eco-tones. satellite lakes, rivers, and Lake Turkana Basin.

Understanding the management challenges in the conservation and protection of fish breeding and nursery areas in critical habitats in relation to human demographics, family planning, climate change and policy issues for environmental sustainability in land-water Eco-tones, satellite lakes, rivers, brackish waters and Lake Turkana Basin.

Sensitization and education of fishing populations on protecting critical habitats of fish breeding and nursery areas in land-water Eco-tones, satellite lakes, rivers, brackish waters and Lake Turkana Basin.


Participatory activities

  • Participated on performance contracting targets of Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in the following areas during 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Financial Years: i. Analysis of co-management of fisheries resources of Lake Turkana Basin; ii. Potential importance of fisheries production in Sateliite Lakes (Turkwel Reservoir and Turkwel River) of Lake Turkana Basin; iii. Stock assessment of Lake Turkana Fisheries; iv. Important macrophytes influencing fisheries production in Lake Turkana Basin; Critical fish breeding habits protection and conservation in Lake Turkana; v. Tilapia fish value chain analysis and interpretation for local consumption and identification of existing potential investment gaps in Northern arid-lands of Kenya; vi. Effects of Fishing Gear Technology on the population dynamics of the fishes of commercial interest in Lake Turkana Basin; vii. Effects of trophic dynamics on fishers of commercial interests in Lake Turkana Basin; Improvement of energy saving stoves to reduce fish post harvest losses for fishers improved income and livelihood
  • Participated in Kenya Coast Development Project (KCDP) research expedition on Fisheries Survey at Lake Jipe and Lake Kenyatta (April, 2015)
  • Participated in Lake Victoria Research Expedition under Lake Victoria
  • Environment Management Project (LVEMP) 2015)
  • Lake Victoria Research Expedition under KMFRI The Government of Kenya (GOK) Seed Fund, March 2016
  • Lake Turkana Research Expedition under KMFRI GOK Seed Fund, April-May 2016
  • Participated in National Commission of Science and Technology; Science, Technology and Innovation (NCST; ST&I) Grant Research Expedition in The Eastern Mau Escarpment, Njoro River Watershed - Modelling of Vegetated Filter Strips to Predict the Protection and Conservation of Njoro River and Lake Nakuru against non Point Sources of Pollution eg Eschechia coli pollution

Students supervised

  • Supervised 2 undergraduate aquatic science students from Kisii University Department of Aquatic Sciences on attachment at KMFRI
  • Supervised one Master of Science student from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Caridina nilotica Project)
  • Supervised 3 undergraduate students from Egerton University Department of Environmental Science on attachment at KMFRI


  • Awarded a PhD study research grant by Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) grant by Kenya National Commission of Science and Technology in Dec 2012
  • Pathfinder Health of People and Environment Lake Victoria Basin (HOPE LVB) project.

Conferences and workshops

  • Monitoring and evaluation training in Kisumu 2018.

Training on Ethics and Corruption Prevention by Ethics and Anti Corruption Authority Personnel at Kenya National Highways Authority Institute, Kisii, Kenya. 2017.

  • KMFRI Nagasaki University under LAVICORD project at Imperial Hotel Kisumu, Kenya March 2016.
  • Lake Victoria Pollution Synthesis Workshop at Agriculture Farmers Training Centre (FTC), Busia April 2016.
  • Pathfinder Donors Conference Under HOPE LVB Project at Acacia Premier Hotel Kisumu, Kenya July 2015.

Research Networks : Research Gate

KMFRI Turkana
Freshwater Systems
He is an aquatic scientist specializing in fisheries biodiversity conservation, fisheries biology, fish population dynamics, microbiology and environmental science.
Fisheries biodiversity conservation; Fisheries biology; Fish population dynamics; Microbiology, fish diseases and fish vaccines; Faecal contamination of fishing beaches in Kenya; Social vulnerability of fishers in relation to climate change. and
  • Bsc Biological Sciences, The University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Post Graduate Diploma Fisheries, ITC –Brussels, Belgium
  • Environmental Science, Egerton University, Kenya
  • PhD Candidate Environmental Science, Egerton University, Kenya

  • Babu JM, Sitoki LM, Ogendi GM, Getabu AM, Boera PN, Akunga GN, Nyaundi JK, Njiru JM, Mwayuli A, Olilo C. (2015b) Effects of Point Source Pollution on Water Quality, Phytoplankton Diversity and Abundance in lake Victoria, Kenya. Interl J. Fisheries Aquatic Studies. 2(4): 178-183.
  • Babu JM, Getabu AM, Nyaundi K, Jembe D, Boera P, Sitoki L, Mwayuli GA, Omondi RO, Olilo CO (2015a) Phytoplankton distribution and abundance in small water bodies of the Lake Victoria Basin of Kenya Internl J Fisheries Aquatic Studies  2(6): 166-169.
  • Olilo CO, Muia AW, Onyando JO, Moturi WN (2018) Effect of  vegetative filter strips on the dynamics of E. coli biofilm   building potential and expression of virulence factors at Mau, Kenya. Energ. Ecol. Environ. 3(2):  110-125. DOI: 10.1007/s40974-018-0081-3.
  • Olilo CO, Muia WA, Onyando JO, Moturi WN, Ombui PN, Shivoga WA (2017) Effect of vegetated filter strips on infiltration and survival rates of coli in soil matrix at Mau, Njoro River Watershed, Kenya. Energ. Ecol. Environ.  Vol 2 (2): 125–142 DOI 10.1007/s40974-016-0049-0.
  • Olilo CO, Muia AW, Moturi WN, Onyando JO, Amber FR (2016) The Current state of  Knowledge on the Interaction of E coli within Vegetative Filter Strips as a Sustainable Best Management Practice to Reduce Fecal Pathogen Loading into         Surface Waters. Energ. Ecol Environ DOI: 10.1007/s40974-016-0026-7
  • Olilo CO, Onyando JO, Moturi WN, Muia AW, Amber FR, Ogari ZF, Ombui PN, Shivoga  WA (2016) Composition and design of vegetative filter strips instrumental in improving water quality by mass reduction of suspended sediment, nutrients and      Escherichia coli in overland flows in eastern escarpment of Mau Forest, Njoro  River Watershed, Kenya Energ. Ecol Environ DOI: 10.1007/s40974-016-0032-9
  • Olilo CO, Onyando JO, Moturi WN, Muia AW, Ombui P, Shivoga WA, Roegner AF  (2016) Effect of vegetated filter strips on transport and deposition rates of Escherichia coli in overland flow in the eastern escarpments of the Mau Forest, Njoro River Watershed, Kenya. Energ. Ecol Environ Vol 1 (3): 157-182 DOI:    10.1007/s40974-016-006-y
  • Olilo CO, Shivoga WA, Kitetu JJ, Agembe S (2014) Effects of Environmental Factors on Dynamics of Cyanobacteria in Lake Baringo, Kenya. Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management. 19 (4): 240-254. DOI: 10.1111/Ire.12074

Book chapters:

  • Omondi R, Ojwang W, Olilo C, Mugo J, Agembe S, Ojuok JE (2016) Lakes Naivasha and Baringo, endorheic freshwater lakes of Rift Valley, Kenya. Encyclopedia of wetlands: Wetlands of the world (vol. 4). The Wetland Book: Distribution, Description and Conservation. Article ID: 331758. Chapter ID 133. Springer 2016.
  • Agembe S, Ojwang W, Olilo C, Omondi R, Ongore C, (2016) Soda lakes of Rift Valley, Kenya. Encyclopedia of wetlands: Wetlands of the world (vol. 4). Article ID: 331775. Chapter ID 150. Wetlands of the World. The Wetland Book: Distribution, Description and Conservation. Springer 2016.



  • A member of Western Indian Ocean Science Association (WIOMSA), East Africa
  • A constituent member of Pathfinder International, New York, USA.
  • An alumni of Egerton University, Kenya
  • An alumni of Nairobi University, Kenya
  • An International Assessor for Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment (FPESA) project, Washington, DC. USA
  • A member of Population –Environment Research Network (PERN), Washington, DC. USA