Kenya Aquatica

KCSAP Project

Dr. Jelvas Mwaura
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Dr. Jelvas Mwaura

Dr. Jelvas MWAURA holds a PhD in Fisheries Science from the University of Nagasaki in Japan. As a coral reef scientist, he has contributed immensely to the development and conservation of coral reefs in Kenya, through a number of projects such as development of MPA management plans, annual reef monitoring programme of MPAs and non-protected reefs (fished), publications of scientific and news articles on status of coral reefs in relation to climate change, fishing pressure and pollution. As a SCUBA diver, he contributes scientific knowledge towards Environmental Impact assessments (EIAs) along Kenya coast, especially on safeguarding marine and coastal ecosystems from adverse impacts due to coastal development projects such as sand harvesting, disposal of drenched materials. Further, his work also contributes to rehabilitation of degraded reefs through partnerships with local fishing communities along Kenyan coast and relevant government agencies. He is periodically a reviewer of Kenya Aquatic and Cognetta Journals.

Dr. Mwaura has served as the national coordinator for coral reef task force-Kenya chapter in charge of updating and profiling the data sets from different partners, useful for reporting at the national and Western Indian Ocean regional levels (2017 WIO-GCRMN coral reef status report and the 2017/18 post-bleaching assessment). He is currently the Technical focal point (TFP) for a new regional Blue Economy project funded through FAO and Government of Japan partnerships, where he contributes towards enhancing management of coral reefs and alternative livelihoods in Kenya.

Donor Funded Research Awards

  • 2020-2024: Community-based reef restoration in Pate-Kiunga, Kenya. TNC & NRT donor funded project
  • 2020-2024: Enhancing livelihoods and coral reef management through increased resilience of fishing communities in Kenya. A FAO-Kenya / Japan partnering project
  • 2020-2021: Strengthening biodiversity conservation, fisheries management and reef rehabilitation in Shimoni marine areas. UNDP/GEF Small gran programme
  • 2019-2020: Promoting the conservation and rehabilitation of critical habitats of the Wasini Co-Management area, Kenya. UNDP/GEF Small Grant Programme
  • 2017-2019: Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund on project “Assessment of humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), spawning aggregation sites for their enhanced protection in Kenya.
  • 2015-2016 MARG 1: Research project “Investigating land-based nutrient enrichment in coastal lagoons, adjacent to urban and tourism center, Kenya”.
  • 2011-2013: International Foundation for Science (IFS, Sweden) Research Grant; entitled “Effects of habitat quality and protection levels on groupers (Pisces: Serranidae) within coral reefs, Kenya”.
  • 2012: International Coral Reef Initiative (INCRI), Great Barrier Reef, Research Grant entitled “A review and assessment of the effects community conservation areas (CCAs) on coral reefs”.

Research Networks:  ResearchGate

KMFRI Mombasa Research Centre
Research and Management (Marine Ecosystems)
Coral reefs and fisheries conservation
Marine ecological rapid assessment (i.e., marine biodiversity and taxonomy), Spatial mapping of marine resources and users, Land-based pollution dynamics and impacts on marine environment, Capacity building on locally Marine Management Areas (LMMAs), and Community-based coral reef restoration/rehabilitation.
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jelvasmwaura@yahoo.com Telephone: +254 712-705688
  • PhD-Nagasaki University, Japan (Environmental and Fisheries Science)
  • M.Sc.-VLIR University, Brussels, Belgium (Marine Ecosystems Management)
  • B.Sc. -Egerton University, Kenya (Natural Resource Management)

  • Mwaura, J. M. and Karisa, J.F. (2021) Low-tech, community-accessible method to restore a degraded reef, in Wasini Island, Kenya; Kenya Aquatica Journal Vol. 6, No. 1, pp 01-16.
  • Kimanga, K., Ochiewo, J., Waiyaki, E., Munyi, F., Mwaura, J. and Karani, N. (2021)The socio-economic impacts of coral reef rehabilitation: coastal community perspective from Wasini in the southcoast of Kenya; Kenya Aquatica Journal Vol.6, no. 1, pp.17-31.
  • Jelvas Mwaura, Murage, D. Uku, J., Mwangi, S. and Abubabakr, M. (2020) Low-tech methods and community support secure coral rewards at Wasini Island. The WIOMSA Magazine, Issue no. 11; 10-13.
  • Gudka, M., Obura, D., Mwaura, J.,Porter, S., Yahya, S. and Mabwa, R. (2018) Impact of the 3rd Global Coral Bleaching Event on the Western Indian Ocean in 2016. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)/Indian Ocean Commission. Pp. 65.
  • MwauraM. Umezawa, Y., Furaha, J. Kimeli, A., Kamau, J. and Aura, C. (2017). Spatial variability of scleractinian coral bleaching susceptibility in 2010 El Niño–Southern Oscillation between northern and southern reefs, Kenya. Coastal Marine Science 40(1): 17-27.
  • Mwaura, J., Umezawa, Y., Nakamura, T. and Kamau, J. (2017) Evidence of chronic anthropogenic nutrients within coastal lagoon reefs adjacent to urban and tourism centers, Kenya: A stable isotope approach. Marine Pollution Bulletin 119: 74-86.
  • Mwaura, J. M., Umezawa, Y., Furaha, J., Kimeli, A., Kamau, J. Aura, C.M. (2017). Spatial variability of scleractinian coral bleaching and mortality induced by the 2010 ENSO, between northern and southern reefs, Kenya. Coastal Marine Science 40(1): 17-27.
  • Obura, D., Gudka, M., Mwaura, J.et al (2017) Coral reef status report for the Western Indian Ocean. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)/international Coral Reef Initiative (INCRI) pp. 140.
  • Government of Kenya (GOK 2017), Jelvas Mwaura (eds) in State of the coast report 11: enhancing integrated Management and marine resources in Kenya. NEMA, nairobi
  • Grimsditch G., tamelander, J., Mwaura, J., Zavagli, M., Takata, Y. and Gomez, T. (2016) Coral recruitment and coral reef resilience on Pemba Island, Tanzania. Estuaries of the World, 42 pp.
  • Rosa M. van der Ven, Ludwig Triest, Dennis J. R. De Ryck, Jelvas M. Mwaura, Mohammed S. Mohammed and Marc Kochzius (2015) Population genetic structure of the stony coral Acropora tenuisshows high but variable connectivity in East Africa. Journal of Biogeography; 43, 510-519.
  • Mwaura, J.M., Juliet K. and Ngisiange, N. (2017) Community-based coral reef restoration in wasini Conserved area, Kenya. KCDP/World Bank/GEF project report.
  • Murage, L. D. and Mwaura, J. M.(2015) Wasini community rallied to secure its future: People and the environment. The WIOMSA Magazine, Issue no. 7; 22-24.
  • Mwaura, J. M. (2013) Participatory assessment of the effects of community conserved areas (CCAs) on coral reefs to support enhanced adaptive management practices; INCRI/KMFRI technical report.
  • Mwaura J. M. (2013) A brief- policy note on community conserved areas along Kenyan Coast for coral reef protection and enhancement of reef fisheries; INCRI/KMFRI technical report.
  • Jelvas Mwauraand Dishon Murage (2016) Strengthening Community-based management of coastal and marine resources: Baseline surveys and capacity building for protection and management of coral reefs. KMFRI/ANO technical report.
  • Mwaura, Jelvas, Karisa Juliet, Annan Rashid and Otuoma Levy (2013) Effects of protection levels and habitat characteristics on grouper (Pisces: Serranidae) within lagoonal reefs, Kenya. (Poster) Proceedings of the 8th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) symposium. October, 2013. Maputo, Mozambique.
  • Mwaura, J. and Juliet K. (2018) Community-based coral reef restoration in Kenya: Concept and guidelines draft. KMFRI technical Manual. 

Book chapters and magazine articles

  • Coral reef and seagrass strategy ecosystem conservation strategy 2015-2019 (Editorial member).
  • Kenya Coastal Development Programme (2012-2016): lessons learned in implementing multi-disciplinary project (editor in Natural resource management and conservation section).

 Outreach Articles

  • Women and youth are leading Kenya’s coral reef revival:-https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/05/14/women-youth-leading-kenyas-coral-reef-revival/
  • Kenya Using low technology to restore coral reefs: https://www.watertower.co.ke/kenya-using-low-technology-to-restore-coral-reefs/
  • Fish decline prompts Wasini to reef restoration-STAR; July 2019
  • Lobster and Octopus are back after reef restoration-The Guardian; Nov2019.
  • Fishermen breathe life into Kenya’s dying coral reefs- People Daily news paper;October 2019
  • A community of women in Kenya has restored a dying coral reef-Optimist Daily; March2020