Kenya Aquatica

KCSAP Project

Dr. Thomas Mkare

Dr. Thomas Mkare

Dr Mkare has been working for KMFRI, Mombasa as a research scientist since April 2012. Mkare graduated with a PhD Zoology (Conservation genetics) from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2017. After his graduation, Mkare pursued postdoctoral research on Conservation genomics of endangered syngnathid fishes (seahorses & pipefishes) at CIBIO (, University of Porto, Portugal. Additionally, Mkare has an MSc in Zoology (population genetics) from Stellenbosch University (Cum laude) and a BSc in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences from Moi University, Kenya.  

Mkare has in-depth working knowledge and experience in several biological fields, including population genetics, conservation genetics, molecular ecology, fisheries forensics, fish genetics and breeding, and species distribution modelling. Mkare is currently involved in several multidisciplinary research activities, including biodiversity assessments using environmental DNA (eDNA), DNA metabarcoding, DNA barcoding, metagenomics of marine microbiomes (e.g. bacteria, fungi, viruses), and population genomic analysis of fishes and endangered species. 

Mkare is keen on establishing beneficial research collaborations and linkages in any biological field. Besides research, Mkare has taught undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate (MSc) modules on Population genetics, Conservation genetics, Fish breeding and genetics, Biotechnology for fisheries science, and marine biodiversity and conservation. Mkare has supervised over 40 students on attachment, mentored eight research associates (interns), and is the academic co-supervisor of five MSc students pursuing their projects in genetics related projects.  

Mkare has published research articles in high impact factor journals (, with several manuscripts still in preparation. Mkare is also the current research head of the newly established Centre for Aquatic Genomics, Forensics and Bioinformatics (AGFB)..

KMFRI Mombasa
Marine and Coastal Fisheries
Population and conservation genetics
I have a broad research interest, including population genetics, conservation genetics, fisheries forensics, fish genetics and breeding, metagenomics, molecular ecology, citizen science and conservation biology.
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  • PhD Zoology (Conservation Genetics)
  • MSc Zoology (Population Genetics)
  • BSc Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

  • Mzingirwa FA, Mkare TK, Nyingi DW, Njiru J (2019). Genetic diversity and spatial population structure of a deepwater snapper, Pristipomoides filamentosus in the south?west Indian Ocean. Molecular Biology Reports.
  • Mkare TK, Groeneveld JC, Teske PR, Matthee CA (2017) Comparative genetic structure in two high-dispersal prawn species from the south-west Indian Ocean. African Journal of Marine Science 39: 467–474
  • Whitfield AK, Mkare TK, Teske PR, James NC, Cowley PD (2017) Life-histories explain the conservation status of two estuary-associated pipefishes. Biological Conservation 212: 256-264
  • Mkare TK, Van Vuuren BJ, Teske (2017) Conservation implications of significant population differentiation in an endangered estuarine seahorse. Biodiversity and Conservation 26:1275–1293
  • Mkare TK, von der Heyden S, Groeneveld JC, Matthee CA (2014) Genetic population structure and recruitment patterns for three sympatric shallow water penaeid prawns in Ungwana Bay, Kenya, with implication for fisheries management. Marine and Freshwater Research 65:255–266
  • Mbaru EK, Kimani EN, Otwoma LM, Kimeli A, Mkare TK (2011) Abundance, Length-Weight Relationship and Condition Factor in Selected Reef Fishes of the Kenyan Marine Artisanal Fishery. Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology 3:1–8
  • Mbaru EK, Mkare TK, Rasowo JO (2011) Tolerance of yolk sac and free swimming fry of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus, Burchell 1822) to chemotherapeutic doses of formalin. African Journal of Agricultural Research 6:323–330 between phytoplankton composition and abundance and physicochemical characteristics of Chepkanga Dam, Eldoret, Kenya. Lakes and Reservoir: Research and Management 15:111–118