Kenya Aquatica

KCSAP Project

Dr. Emmanuel Mbaru

Dr. Emmanuel Mbaru

I am working as a senior fisheries scientist at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). I hold a PhD in Marine Science (since 2018) from James Cook University, Australia. My work is primarily focused in the new concepts that link social-ecological networks and environmental outcomes. I have over 10 years of experience working on marine fisheries with a special emphasis on mitigating adverse ecological impacts of fishing on small scale fisheries, advancing widespread adoption of alternative and conservation friendly fishing technologies, improving capacity and resilience of vulnerable coastal communities affected by social and environmental change, among other broader fisheries management interventions.  I am currently the national coordinator and thematic expert of a major EU funded Pan-African program entitled Global Monitoring of Environment and Security and Africa (GMES & Africa). I also work closely with international NGOs on developing local level management in nearshore fisheries in the western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. Part of my work involves developing alternative fishing for fishers affected by increased management restrictions, including community level fisheries closures.

Research Network: Research Gate

KMFRI Mombasa
Fisheries Research
Social and Ecological Network Modeling
Social-ecological network modeling, GIS and Remote Sensing, Climate change,
  • PhD Environmental and Related Studies - James Cook University, Australia
  • Msc Fisheries Science – Rhodes University, South Africa
  • Bsc Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences – Moi University, Kenya



  • Mbaru, J. Cinner, C. Hicks G. Gurney. Evaluating outcomes of conservation using multidimensional indicators of wellbeing. Conservation Biology
  • Kobingi Nyakeya, Emily Chemoiwa, Jane Moraa Nyamora, Emmanuel Kakunde Mbaru, Zipporah Moraa Gichana, and Evans Basweti. (2020). Endemic Lake Baringo Oreochromis niloticus fishery on the verge of collapse: A review on the causes and strategies towards its recovery, conservation and management for sustainable exploitation. Lakes and Reservoirs, Research and Management.
  • M. Aura, C. Odoli, C. S. Nyamweya, J. M. Njiru, S. Musa, J. B. Miruka, M. O. Owili, R. Omondi, P. Raburu, J. Manyala, J. Mwamburi, Z. Ogari, E. K. Mbaru. (2020). Application of phytoplankton community structure for ranking the major riverine catchments influencing the pollution status of a lake basin. Lakes and Reservoirs Research and Management. 2020; 00:1–15. DOI: 10.1111/lre.12307
  • Mbaru E. K, Graham N. A. J, McClanahan T. R, Cinner E. J. (2019). Functional traits illuminate the selective impacts of different fishing gears on coral reefs. Journal of Applied Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13547
  • Barnes M, Mbaru EK, Muthiga N. (2019). Information access and knowledge exchange in co-managed coral reef fisheries. Biological Conservation, 238: 108198.
  • Cohen PJ, Allison EH, Andrew NL, Cinner J, Evans LS, Fabinyi M, Garces LR, Hall SJ, Hicks CC, Hughes TP, Jentoft S, Mills DJ, Masu R, Mbaru EK and Ratner BD (2019) Securing a Just Space for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Blue Economy. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6:171. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00171
  • Mbaru E. K. et al. (2018). Experimental evaluation of influence of FADs on community structure and fisheries in coastal Kenya. Aquatic Living Resources 31: 6. 
  • Mbaru E. K. & Barnes M. (2017). Key players in conservation diffusion: using social network analysis to identify critical injection points: Biological Conservation 210: 222-232. 
  • Boaz Kaunda-Arara, Cosmas Munga, Julius Manyala, Baraka Kuguru, Mathias Igulu, Muhaji Chande, Simon Kangwe, Stephen Mwakiti, Pascal Thoya, Emmanuel Mbaru, Renison Ruwa (2016). Spatial variation in benthopelagic fish assemblage structure along coastal East Africa from recent bottom trawl surveys. Regional Studies in Marine Science. doi:10.1016/j.rsma.2016.04.001
  • Mbaru E. K & McClanahan T.R (2013). Escape gaps in African basket traps reduce bycatch while increasing body sizes and incomes in a heavily fished reef lagoon. Fisheries Research 148: 90– 99. 
  • Mbaru E. K (2013). An assessment of the Kenyan coastal artisanal fishery and implications for the introduction of FADs. MSc Thesis, Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • Mbaru E. K. et al. (2011).  Tolerance of Yolk Sac and Free Swimming Fry of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus, Burchell 1822) to different Chemotherapeutic Doses of Formalin. African Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 6(2): 323-330.
  • Mbaru E. K. et al. (2011). Abundance, Length-Weight Relationship and Condition Factor in Some Selected Reef Species of the Kenyan Marine Artisanal Fishery. Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology. 3(1): 1-8. ISSN: 2042-4876
  • Mbaru E. K. et al. (2010). Length-Weight- Relationship of 39 Selected Reef Fishes in the Kenyan Coastal Artisanal Fishery. Fisheries Research 106: 567–569. 
  • Mkare, T. K, Manyala, J. O, Mulanda, A. C, and E. K. Mbaru.  (2010). Phytoplankton Composition and Abundance in Relation to Physico-chemical Characteristics, Chepkanga Dam, Eldoret-Kenya. Lakes and Reservoir: Research and Management 15: 99-106.