|Four RS-DFID PhD students from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.|
This is an incredibly exciting programme, involving core PhD projects based at partner institutions in Malawi (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Research), Zambia (University of Zambia, University of the Copperbelt, Zambian Agricultural Research Institute), and Zimbabwe (University of Zimbabwe, Chemistry & Soils Research Institute). One PhD project is on understanding selenium/iodine dynamics in tropical soils (Ivy Ligowe, based in Lilongwe); one is on managing soil zinc and iron supply to crops in smallholder systems (Grace Manzeke, based in Harare); one is on metal speciation in soils affected by mining (Belinda Kaninga, based in Copperbelt/Lusaka).
There are other aligned PhD projects registered at UoN, focusing on wider agriculture and public health questions developed in collaboration with our African partners. These include Felix Phiri, a human nutritionist from Malawi (Director of Nutrition, Ministry of Health) who is aiming to develop urinary biomarkers of selenium status, and Elliott Hamilton, from BGS, who will work on improving our understanding of chromium speciation and bioavailability in tropical soils. Elliott will work closely with Belinda in Zambia. Felix and Elliott are both combining part-time PhD studies with their day-jobs, and we hope to bring other students into the network on this ‘professional’ basis in the coming years. We have one more PhD full-time student within the CEG, Olivier Humphrey who will focus on the highly specific analytical method development for measuring iodine dynamics through elemental speciation and isotope geochemistry. Olivier’s work is very much linked to Ivy’s PhD, which will focus more on developing soil management strategies.
|Delegates attending RS-DFID network-training event in Harare.|
There are many opportunities for developing new joint PhD projects, in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, UK and linking with activities elsewhere in Africa. There are also many opportunities for getting involved in specific training activities (participation and delivery!).