Celebrating the Early Career Research in WIOGEN

Beautiful Information Competition Winners


With so much information available today, it is sometimes hard to stand out. WIOGEN offered Early Career Researchers the opportunity to work with professional designers to turn their research outcomes into beautiful infographics.



Katie Watson

Katie is a PhD Candidate at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and part of the IUCN Seagrass Specialist Group, exploring seagrass restoration techniques. Her research focuses on employing ecological, physiological and molecular techniques to optimise restoration attempts of Cape dwarf-eelgrass (Zostera capensis). She hopes to optimise restoration efforts as seagrass is crucial to provide habitat for biodiversity, supporting coastal communities, and mitigating climate change. However, seagrass is under threat from overexploitation, harbour development, pollution, introduction of non-native species, and global climate change. Katie is continuously inspired by the dedication and determination of those around her who are working towards helping us better understand these vital ecosystems. Her greatest accomplishment so far has been securing a PhD and moving to South Africa to pursue this.. She would love to contribute towards tackling climate change through ecosystem restoration, particularly of seagrass meadows. Approximately a third of seagrass meadows have already been lost, with 58% of meadows in decline. Despite only seagrasses occupying less than 0.2% of the world’s oceans, they are responsible for more than 10% of all carbon buried annually in our oceans. She also has skills in underwater photography, and loves being able to capture the beauty of the ocean and share it with others to raise awareness around the threats it faces.

You can get in touch with Katie on social media: Twitter – @KatieMWatson_ Facebook – Katie Watson Photography  or Instagram – @underwaterwithkatie

View Katie’s infographic here!


Timothy Kakai

Timothy is a community development and an environmental conservation expert with vast hands-on knowledge and working experience in biodiversity conservation, rehabilitation and sustainable utilization of marine resources. He is always motivated that the change we need can always begin with him. He received his undergraduate degree qualifications from Moi University in BA Geography in 2005 and currently in the final stages of acquiring a master’s degree from Pwani University in Environmental Science. He is a member of WIOMSA and CEM Member – IUCN 2021-2025, Marine stewardship Council fellow. He strongly believes that to protect the environment, human beings should be empowered, be involved in decision making and be informed that the natural resources are there to help them coexist and thrive.  His greatest challenge has always been the effects of climate change on coastal communities and changing the coastal communities’ attitude towards sustainable natural resources self-governance and empowerment. He is resilient and always focused. You can interact at with Timothy on Facebook.

View Timothy’s Infographic Here!


Mia Strand

Mia is a social scientist working with area-based ocean management, passionate about contributing to making these processes more equitable and inclusive. What continues to inspire her is the different ways in which people care for and connect with the ocean and coast, and how that translates into stewardship practices and community engagement. She believes her greatest accomplishment so far must be the collaborative work she has been doing with incredible co-researchers across Algoa Bay, and the exhibition they put together of people’s connections to the ocean and coast. Representatives from national, provincial and local government attended and conveyed that the exhibition had opened their eyes to the importance of recognising Indigenous and local knowledge, spiritual and cultural connections in ocean management moving forward. Her secret skill is to listen, deeply, and connect with people on a personal level, recognising that relationship-building and trust are both essential for participatory and collaborative work and research. Connect with her on LinkedIn and find out more about the project with this video. Explore Ocean Connections: A Virtual Multimedia Exhibition.

View the infographic here! 


Japhet Tembo

I’m an a Limnologist, passionate about Aquatic ecology with a special focus on fish biology, ecology and sustainable utilization of tropical natural resources and conservation. This is envisaged to support community alternative viable livelihood options. I’m a MSc research student working on riverine eel fisheries along riparian communities in some East flowing rivers in Kenya. My greatest achievement so far has been to inspire my community that anything is possible, regardless of where you are coming from. I have  successfully been involved in changing community perception of riverine conservation to promote ecosystem services to the community. I’m passionate about seeing free-flowing rivers, enhancing happy rivers, happy fish, and happy people, and promoting river connectivity. I envisage seeing nature preserved and people transformed, living in harmony with nature, and being able to drive their own economic agendas through responsible use of aquatic natural resources in the region.

View the infographic HERE!

Connect with Japhet on his channels: Facebook – Japhet Tembo; LinkedIn – Japhet Tembo; Instagram – tembojaphet; Twitter – @Japhet_Tembo


Johnstone Omukoto Omuhaya

I am inspired by the fact that I am entrusted with environmental/aquatic resources stewardship through
socio-ecological scientific research for the betterment of humanity and nature. My greatest achievement so far is having been able to work for the past 15 years in fulfilling my inspiration as an environmental and fisheries socio-ecologist and being able to secure a scholarship to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science at Lancaster University, United Kingdom, that I am currently working on. The big challenge I would like to tackle in my career is the wicked problem of sustainability in socio-ecological systems and how it can be harnessed for human development. I would say my secret skill is being able to self-learn or self-educate in my disciplines of work.

View the infographic HERE!!

Johnstone can be contacted on: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/omuhaya-omukoto-4aa44359/ Twitter: @jomukoto1 and Facebook: omukoto.omuhaya


Hassan Abdullahi Mao

I am Hassan Abdullahi Mao from Somalia who studied Marine Science at City University of Mogadishu and also attended number of different trainings in the field related and others also worked on the fisheries sector and maritime sector. The biggest thing which always inspires me is to see the ocean safer from any human activities impacts. The skill which always helps me is good communication skills. I would like to challenge the lack of awareness of society about the impacts of their activities on the ocean.

View the infographic HERE!!!!!

You can engage with Hassan through his various social media channels:
Twitter: @hasan_macow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/macow.yare.3