John Gitonga joined Mpala as a research assistant at the Caylor Echydrology Laboratory back in 2011. His educational background is rooted in plant ecology and environmental science, and he holds a CPA4 qualification. Currently, he’s pursuing a Master’s Degree in Dryland Agriculture at Kenyatta University, focusing on researching the health of soils and wild grasses in various grazing systems across Laikipia. His research interests revolve around agroecological systems, applying a food systems perspective to address climate change, and examining the human dimension in managing common pool resources.
Since becoming part of the Mpala administration, he has taken on several roles, including managing the Mpala laboratories, working as a technician at the Isotopes laboratory, overseeing the Mpala weather station, mobilizing communities and stakeholders for social science initiatives, and guiding researchers through the process of acquiring various research permits in accordance with statutory requirements. Outside of work, he enjoys hobbies like watching movies, reading journal articles, traveling, and spending quality time at his mechanic’s garage, where he gains insights into solving automotive problems.