I am an independent researcher (i.e. unaffiliated to an institution), trained in environmental studies, African studies and urban history. My research interests are holistic and thread the following through them: African ontologies, indigenous knowledge, community sovereignty, and regenerative futures.
Particular research topics have included
- regenerative justice
- the role of spirituality in approaches to the evironment
- indigenous African foodways (forest foraging, pastoralism and agriculture)
- forms of environmental activism in Africa
- urban environmental pollution and heavy metals
- holistic community models towards resilience
- media narratives of environmental topics in Kenya eg environmental conflict, climate change
- the role of design in waste management and
- urban histories of Latin America, South Asia, and colonial Kenya
I am available to speak on these themes in panels, conferences, talks and workshops. Contact me to arrange.
Below are some past and ongoing research projects with links where available.
African theory for African environments: an ontologically informed articulation of regenerative Afrikan presents and futures. Masters thesis. Book manuscript.
‘African theory for African environments’ locates regeneration of African communities in indigenous African ways of being, knowing and doing i.e. African ontologies, as a decolonial project. Centring the scholarship and practices of Africans, the project articulates a regenerative framework for governance, justice, spirituality, economics and education, for old and new African communities defined in accordance with the holistic reality of African worlds as societies-ecologies-spirits in relationship.
Food sovereignty and regeneration
Ongoing project investigating the potential of community practices of food sovereignty to restore community sovereignty and regenerativity by relocalising governance & justice, enacting regenerative economics, & re-creating eco-spiritual relationships
Subverting rank and rank abuse in learning spaces
Final research paper from 2 years of process oriented psychology study applied towards understanding and subverting situations of rank and rank abuse in conventional and alternative learning spaces. This project also included the creation of a curriculum for a year-long regenerative livelihoods learning programme combining reclaimed purpose, centred learning, critical consciousness, and designing regenerative work in service to Earth and society. Contact me to discuss bringing this programme to life, or to read the concept note for the programme.
Sustainability from the roots
This research project was undertaken on a year-long funded Wellesley College service fellowship (2013-2014). I investigated local forms of holistic engagement with ecological and socio-economic issues in low-income urban areas. I worked through interviews, writing, participant observation, photography and collaborative work in 5 countries: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, and Tanzania. This project was the genesis of my blog sustainabilityfromtheroots.wordpress.com that has morphed over time into this blog. Documentation is available in the blog section from 2013-2015.
Lead recycling and poisoning
This research project investigated the extent, health effects of, and potential solutions to lead poisoning from car battery recycling in six countries, including conducting fieldwork in coastal Kenya and lab analysis of dust samples
Design as waste mediator
In this project I was fascinated by how the design of waste-bins could either enhance or detract from the goals of sustainable waste management by communicating different things, or being easy or difficult to use. I used observation, photography, ethnographic writing, and interviews in a study of the best design to achieve desired waste management goals in 5 cities: New Orleans in USA, São Paulo & Curitiba in Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa & Hanoi in Vietnam
‘Why spatial is special’
Project digitising and georeferencing historical maps of Nairobi city to study changes in amount, usage and protection of green space over time