Kenya Aquatica

KCSAP Project

Dr. Jelvas Mwaura

Dr. Jelvas Mwaura

Dr. Jelvas Mwaura is a coral reef scientist working primarily on research targeting multiple anthropogenic impacts facing corals reefs including fishing, nutrient pollution and climate change, and their implications on people who depend upon them as well as on their management and policy development.  He has also extensive experience working with stakeholders and resource managers on collaborative projects including participatory reef monitoring, underwater environmental impact assessment (EIAs), and community-based coral reef rehabilitation. Periodically reviewer of Kenya Aquatic and Cognetta Journals.

Dr. Mwaura is currently the coordinator of Coral Reef Task Force-Kenya Chapter,  and Technical Focal point for a new Blue Economy project “ enhancing livelihoods and coral reef management in Kenya”, and has contributed to the regional reporting of the status of coral reefs in Western Indian Ocean the 2017 WIO-GCRMN coral reef status report and the 2017/18 post-bleaching assessment

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
Marine ecological rapid assessment (i.e., marine 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.
... 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)

  1. Jelvas Mwaura and Juliet Karisa (2020) Community-based, low-tech restoration methods and community support enhance reef biodiversity and livelihoods ( under review)
  2. 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.
  3. Mwaura, M. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 tenuis shows high but variable connectivity in East Africa. Journal of Biogeography; 43, 510-519.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mwaura J. M. (2013) A brief- policy note on community conserved areas along Kenyan Coast for coral reef protection and enhancement of reef fisheries.
  13. Jelvas Mwaura and 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Mwaura, J. and Juliet K. (2018) Community-based coral reef restoration in Kenya: Concept and guidelines draft. KMFRI technical Manual.


Book chapters

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


Press Articles

  1. Fish decline prompts Wasini to reef restoration-STAR; July 2019
  2. Lobster and Octopus are back after reef restoration-The Guardian; Nov2019.
  3. Fishermen breathe life into Kenya’s dying coral reefs- People Daily news paper;October 2019
  4. A community of women in Kenya has restored a dying coral reef-Optimist Daily; March2020