Educational Concept and Planning
ITCER bases its educational programme on international lecturers, who voluntarily share their specific expertise in particular state-of-the-art methods used in environmental research to students from Kenya and its neighbouring countries. ... more
The envisaged academic learning programme is three-fold, as we will offer
- Teaching modules ... more
over a period of 2 weeks and up to 15 MSc and PhD students per course: these training courses will combine diagnostics and measures by conveying skills in newest methods and their application in particular use cases.
- One-day educational seminars ... more
to target groups informing and sensitizing them on state-of-the-art methodologies and approaches, and on relevant scientific outcomes.
- Selected scientific talks ... more
and engagement of the local community to encourage participation in ITCER’s work and socially relevant issues of conserving and restoring the natural environment.
Examples of Training Courses
ITCER courses offer training and skills in the fields of vegetation science and conservation, plant pathology and parasitology, omics-driven microbial ecology, soil science and hydrology, biological informatics and data management, GIS-analysis and remote sensing.
- Biodiversity and Conservation ... more
(cellular, species, and ecosystem levels) will centre around disseminating knowledge on restoration of degraded lands and declining native species, addressing questions related to invasive species and assessment of environmental health and ecosystem services of the existing ecosystems. The training will introduce techniques for quantifying ecosystem functions and structure.
- Soil and Water Conservation ... more
will address soil ecology, engineering, chemistry, and hydrology. Training is intended to provide sustainable solutions to the various forms of pollution and will be designed along biological control mechanisms. For instance, microorganism-bioremediation experiments for controlling plastic pollution in the environment will be conducted using fungi and bacteria to demonstrate the ability of the microorganisms to degrade plastics.
- Plant Pathology ... more
will address mycology, bacteriology and nematology. The training is intended to focus on sample collection from infected crops and plants and morphological, cultural, molecular studies and control measures will be demonstrated. This training will provide solutions to ensure food security and provide basic knowledge on the pathogen biology.
- Environmental Data Management ... more
will focus on data integration and management in environmental research. The complete workflows with data pipelines are explained based and use cases and by applying the free open-source software tool Diversity Workbench (DWB) and its various components and particular strength of implementing data standards. The training covers particularly the setting-up of a database from scratch, data exchange formats, schemas and data transformations as well as the DWB GIS tools for working and managing georeferenced data.
Selected Specific Topics to be Taught at the Centre
- Rhizosphere interactions impacting plant response to drought in semiarid environments
- Soil and plant-associated mycobiomes — structures and interactions
- Complex, adaptive responses of plants to changing environmental conditions
- The economic importance of insects in agricultural systems
- Interactions between ecosystem functioning and socio-economic needs of local communities
- The role of secondary metabolites in plant health and defense mechanisms
Apply for a Course
(Functional as soon as training courses are announced)
Ongoing Research Projects
A number of research projects are being established. One is already underway since Jan. 2023.
Monitoring biotic and abiotic factors that influence biomass production in biodiverse grassland
The activities within the framework of ITCER research are resulting in first publications: ... more
- Kinge, T.R., Jefwa, J.M., Houdanon, R.D., Milenge, H.K., Abdel-Azeem, A.M., Gryzenhout, M., Triebel, D., Weibulat, T., Rambold, G.: Management and publication of scientific data on traditional mycological and lichenological knowledge in Africa, Lichenologist (2023). doi:10.1017/S0024282923000294
- Gkoutselis, G.M., Rohrbach, S., Harjes, J., Obst, M., Brachmann, A., Horn, M., Rambold, G.: Microplastics accumulate fungal pathogens in terrestrial ecosystems, Scientific Reports (2021). doi:10.1038/s41598-021-92405-7
- Schweiger, A., Ullmann, M., Nürk, N.M., Triebel, D., Schobert, R., Rambold, G.: Chemical properties of key metabolites determine the global distribution of lichens, Ecology Letters (2021). doi:10.1111/ele.13930
- Cheng, T., Chepkirui, C., Decock, C., Matasyoh, J.C., Stadler, M.: Sesquiterpenes from an Eastern African medicinal mushroom belonging to the genus Sanghuangporus, J. Nat. Prod. (2019). doi:10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b01086
- Chepkirui, C., Cheng, T., Sum, B.W., Decock, C., Matasyoh, J.C., Praditya, D.F., Steinmann, E., Stadler, M. Skeletocutins, A.L.: Antibacterial agents from the Kenyan wood-inhabiting Basidiomycete, Skeletocutis sp., J. Agric. Food Chem. (2019). doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.9b02598
- Okach, D.O., Ondier, J.O., Kumar, A., Rambold, G., Tenhunen, J., Huwe, B., Otieno, D.O.: Livestock grazing and rainfall manipulation alter the patterning of CO2 fluxes and biomass development of the herbaceous community in a humid savanna, Plant Ecology (2019). doi:10.1007/s11258-019-00977-2
- Okach, D.O., Ondier, J.O., Kumar, A., Rambold, G., Tenhunen, J., Huwe, B., Otieno, D.O.: Interactive influence of livestock grazing and manipulated rainfall and soil properties in a humid tropical savanna, Journal of Soils and Sediments (2919). doi:10.1007/s11368-018-2117-x