International Climate Protection Fellowship

Fellows 2012/2013 (A-M)

Responsible for the contents: Dr. Judith Schildt (Humboldt Foundation) and the fellows

Richard Arthur

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Bio-Processing Technology and Engineering | Affiliation at the time of application: Koforidua Polytechnic, Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Koforidua, Ghana | Host institution in Germany: Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Research Focus Environmental and Bioprocess Engineering | Host: Prof. Dr. Paul Scherer

Knowledge and technology transfer of biogas systems for environmental protection – Increasing the efficiency of biogas reactors by trace elements

Richard Arthur
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Ghana, a developing but stable country, relies heavily on wood fuel which accounts for 72% of its source of fuel, with crude oil and hydro-energy making up the rest. About 90% of wood fuels used in Ghana are obtained from the natural forest. Biogas production from renewable sources has recently attracted a great deal of attention, particularly in Europe and Africa, because it generates energy for cooking or electricity and provides a valuable fertilizer. Richard Arthur hopes to learn about best practices regarding the analysis and optimisation of management processes, feedstock use and biogas yield in the German biogas industry. Additionally, Arthur will study the design of simple, robust and efficient biogas system designs and adapt them to African conditions. It is expected that using optimised procedures on biogas systems will effectively reduce emissions from livestock manure and lessen over-reliance on wood fuel to ensure forest conservation and climate protection.

Evelyn Asante-Yeboah

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Forestry, Forest Science | Affiliation at the time of application: Ghana Timber Millers Organisation, Kumasi, Ghana | Host institution in Germany: Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Environmental Sciences | Host: Prof. Dr. Franz Makeschin

Dealing with vulnerability of the agriculture sector to climate change impacts in Ghana: on-farm tree management, an adaptation strategy

Evelyn Asante-Yeboah
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Agriculture vulnerability is prominent in Africa, and Ghana is no exception because the majority of producers are small-scale farmers dependent on seasonal rains with limited economic alternatives to agriculture. The off-reserves/agricultural farms in the high forest zone of Ghana have a substantial proportion of timber trees which are controlled by the government. The farmers do not benefit from harvesting the trees and this has led to poor tree management on agricultural farms. Coupled with continuous cropping on the same piece of land this has resulted in decreased soil fertility, low crop yield and increased agricultural vulnerability. Evelyn Asante-Yeboah wants to learn about integrated (multi- and trans-disciplinary) approaches in solving agricultural vulnerabilities of global concern. She hopes to strengthen collaboration between research institutions in Germany and her home institution. The project is expected to improve household resilience to climate change impacts and to contribute to resource conservation and climate protection.

Yolanda Karina Cáceres Castellanos

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Plant Ecology | Affiliation at the time of application: Los Andes University, Institute of Environmental and Ecological Sciences, Merida, Venezuela | Host institution in Germany: University of Tübingen, Institute of Evolution and Ecology | Host: Prof. Dr. Katja Tielbörger

Developing a conceptual approach to assess the role of shared pollination on plant biodiversity in fragmented landscapes – Lessons from European grasslands to the Tropical Andes

Yolanda Karina Cáceres Castellanos
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Considering plant-pollinator interactions as one of the crucial processes that mediate the response of ecosystems to drivers (natural and anthropogenic) of environmental change, Yolanda Cáceres proposes to develop a theoretical and experimental investigation directed at understanding how shared pollination services are significantly affected by community attributes and habitat fragmentation.
Working with German partners in acquiring new methodological and analytical tools will help her to generate comparable data and adjust fundamental theoretical conclusions, which will then be tested in tropical Andean ecosystems where lack of knowledge about the functional dynamics of these unique environments still hinders the generation of robust predictions regarding the effects of climate change. This project aims to fill this gap by shedding light on the role of pollination services in shaping plant communities as well as to provide simple predictions that may be used to improve management and conservation.

Simeon Hengari

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Plant Nutrition, Plant Physiology | Affiliation at the time of application: Windhoek Research and Data Analysis Consultants, Windhoek, Namibia and University of Stellenbosch, South Africa | Host institution in Germany: Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben | Host: Dr. Benjamin Kilian

Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on drought stress tolerance of barley

Simeon Hengari
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Barley grows under diverse environmental conditions globally. There is currently interest in growing barley under irrigation in Namibia. However, climate prediction models show that Namibia is becoming more arid due to climate change. Therefore, an increase in irrigated cultivation will increase pressure on shrinking water resources. Arbuscular myccorhizal (AM) fungi can reduce water stress in barley, though the underlying genetic base of this effect is still poorly understood. Simeon Hengari will analyse the phenotypic variation in response to different AM fungi treatments in a diverse set of barley cultivars in relation to drought tolerance under greenhouse conditions in Germany. Genome-wide association studies will be performed to detect candidate genes/regions for the phenotypic traits studied. Barley cultivars that respond well to the AM fungal treatment will also be selected for future field trials in Namibia.

Ana Karol

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Sociology | Affiliation at the time of application: Fundación para el Desarrollo en Justicia y Paz (FUNDAPAZ), Chaco Region, Argentina | Host institution in Germany: University of Freiburg, Chair of Silviculture | Host: Dr. Benno Pokorny

Learning for adaptation to climate change: analysis of adaptation strategies of smallholders in the Argentinean Chaco forests as a basis for effective mobilisation of local potential in sustainable natural resources management

Ana Karol
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Climate change principally affects local people. This situation is particularly visible in the Chaco Region, which is a very challenging environment since it is a very dry area that presents extreme temperatures and erratic water availability. Moreover, the expansion of soybean cultivation and the introduction of intensive cattle farming are transforming the landscape and are provoking land struggles with external actors and within local communities. Ana Karol wants to learn about the way local people are responding to change and challenges and the underlying drivers (internal and external factors) in order to define more accurate ways of supporting them in reducing vulnerability and consolidating local livelihoods as well as in promoting and effectively mobilising local potential to face climate change.

Trevor McIntyre

Degree: Ph.D. | Field: Animal Ecology and Behavioural Ecology | Affiliation at the time of application: University of Pretoria, Mammal Research Institute, South Africa | Host institution in Germany: Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven | Host: Dr. Claudio Richter

Climate influences on the at-sea behaviour of a marine predator

Trevor McIntyre
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Southern elephant seals are Southern Ocean predators that spend more than 80% of their lives at sea, diving to depths that can exceed 2,000 m. They are suitable indicator species of underlying ecological conditions, given their large size, resource requirements and widespread occurrence. Seals from Marion Island increase their dive depths, and spend less time at targeted dive depths when swimming in warmer water, probably due to changes in prey distribution. Such adaptations are likely to result in increased physiological costs associated with foraging under warming climatic conditions. Trevor McIntyre aims to further investigate behavioural responses of elephant seals to changes in their environment associated with predicted climate changes, and couple measures of foraging success and foraging strategies with the overall fitness of seals. Such analyses will help clarify the likely responses of an indicator predator species to expected environmental changes associated with ocean warming.

Luis Felipe Melgarejo Pérez

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Political Science, Politics | Affiliation at the time of application: Universidad Externado de Colombia, Faculty of Finances, Government and International Relations, Bogotá, Colombia | Host institution in Germany: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Geography Department | Host: Prof. Dr. Tobia Lakes

Regional governance of climatic hazards in developing countries: social infrastructure, spatial analysis and planning appraisal during the 2010–2011 Colombian mass floods

Luis Felipe Melgarejo Perez
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

In response to studies on climate change impacts and scenarios (i.e. IPCC 2007), regions with high exposure to hydrometeorological disasters have begun to formulate strategies for risk mitigation. The last decade has proved that extreme climate events are increasingly overcoming regional and national disaster-recovery systems in developing countries. Adaptation development programmes and the experiences of organised communities and local governments in flood-prone regions in Colombia will be used in this research for studying the planning appraisal and roles that social infrastructure had during crises and recovery. Luis Felipe Melgarejo Pérez strives to develop a social infrastructure planning and regional assessment framework to provide alternatives for temporary emergency shelter services. Climate-planning integrative analyses of social infrastructure for purposes of disaster prevention facilitate the formulation of risk-oriented and regional adaptation plans.

Allan Mubiru

Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration | Field: Commodity Economics, Merchandise Technology | Affiliation at the time of application: Uganda Carbon Bureau Ltd., Lubowa Estate, Kampala, Uganda | Host institution in Germany: atmosfair, Berlin | Host: Xaver Kitzinger

Fostering access to energy efficiency technologies for low-income households through microfinance and carbon finance

Allan Mubiru
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Energy efficiency technologies are part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging sustainable development. However, their poor distribution and financing methods are still one of the top reasons hindering access for low-income households. Enhancing access to such products as Improved Cook Stoves (ICS) will bring wood consumption down to sustainable levels to allow natural recovery of forests and reforestation to take place. This will also curb indoor air pollution and its harmful health consequences and reduce household fuel and medical bills. Focusing on atmosfair’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Rwanda and Nigeria, Allan Mubiru will study the opportunities and assess the feasibility of linking carbon finance as an external source of funding with microfinance as a supportive distribution mechanism to create access to ICS for low-income households. The study will generate a greater understanding of the viability of this linking approach plus the ability to adopt it across Africa.

Contact

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Georg Scholl
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Phone: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441
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