McKnight Foundation supported student from NM-AIST, Baltazar Ndakidemi, was recognised for his excellent photo at the recent McKnight Foundation meeting. The photo was taking during Baltazar's MSc research project in which he monitored beneficial invertebrate biodiversity on bean farms in Tanzania, providing valuable baseline data to support our McKnight and Darwin Initiative projects.


The photo shows two farmers explaining to Baltazar the importance of different plant species to them and their agriculture.


The McKnight judging panel liked that the photograph showed the idea of dialogue and two-way flow of learning between researchers and farmers.

Baltazar explains ecosystems services and plant diversity to farmers.

Greetings from the International Congress of Entomology 2016, held in Orlando, USA! Project members Phil Stevenson, Prisila Mkenda, Geoff Gurr and Sarah Arnold are attending as speakers.

Prisila Mkenda delivered an excellent talk relating to her McKnight Foundation funded research on botanical insecticide application. The talk abstract has a doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.109117 and can be found on the conference website.

Mkenda presenting at ICE


The conference has been an excellent opportunity to present to, and interact with, leading figures in entomology from all over the world.

NM-AIST project students Prisila Mkenda and Filemon Elisante travelled to Dar-es-Salaam to attend a workshop, run by the McKnight Foundation, about analytical tools. This included a significant element of training relating to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping. Using aerial images of a landscape and categorising the land coverage and vegetation types, this powerful tool enables analysis of a large geographic area, in order to understand larger scale effects of land use on local conditions.


We think that GIS could be an ideal addition to our project because there is existing evidence1 that large-scale changes in land use across a region can have profound impacts on biodiversity and hence ecosystems services.


1De Palma, A., Kuhlmann, M., Roberts, S.P., Potts, S.G., Börger, L., Hudson, L.N., Lysenko, I., Newbold, T. and Purvis, A. (2015) Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land‐use pressures in European agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52(6):1567-1577. Read here.