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Zoology department PDF Print E-mail
Article Index
Zoology department
Herpetology Section
Ichthyology Section
Invertebrate Zoology Section
Mammology Section
Ornithology Section
Osteology Section


Invertebrates’ Zoology is one of section under Zoology Department and hosts the largest scientific collections in the department.  The section houses anestimated over 2 million specimens and over 35,000 described taxa of various invertebrates.  Among the keyinvertebrates groups in the section include; Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Isoptera,Orthoptera, Mollusca, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Arachnids and Diptera.  Part of the collection comprises oftype material with several holotypes, paratypes as syntypes.  Majority of the collections are held asdry specimens in cabinets whereas others collections are preserved in ethanol and also as slides. Currently,plans are underway to database, digitize the entire collection with geo-references.



The main section research themes include; Biosystematics, invertebrates biodiversity pollinator diversity, taxonomy, biology & ecology, pollination relation to food security, commercial insects, agricultural entomology, medical malacology and entomology, climate change in relation to invertebrates and ethno-entomology.



  • Insects as food sources for improving food security, rural livelihoods and adaptation to climate change. Funded by the National Council for Science and Technology -headed by Dr. Richard Bagine.
  • Mapping freshwater gastropods at L. Jipe basin to promote their understanding and management of potential snail-borne diseases. Funded by International Foundation for Science -headed by Dr. Charles Lange
  • Impact of climate change /environment variability on Fauna in East Africa, funded by German Science Foundation, Germany- headed by Dr. Charles Lange - CoPI
  • KenBOL Project - Bar-coding selected Flora & Fauna species, funded by IDRC- IBOL Canada -headed by Dr. Charles Lange - collaborator
  • Conservation and management of pollinators for sustainable agriculture, through an ecosystem approach, funded by UNEP/GEF/FAO -headed by Dr. Wanja Kinuthia.
  • Investigation of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes in a newly found distribution range in Kikuyu highlands, Central Kenya: Implication for malaria transmission. Funded by KEMRI and NMK -headed by Laban Njoroge.
  • Conservation of commercial insects of Kaya Muhaka forest and the associated plant flora for improved livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Funded by National Council of Science and Technology -headed by Dr. Mary Gikungu (PI)
  • Land use Change on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning of Pollinators and Decomposers (Kili project). Funded by german Research Foundation -headed by Dr. Mary Gikungu (PI)
  • Monitoring environmental health and ecosystem services in Kakamega region. Funded by BIOVISION - headed by Dr. Mary Gikungu (PI)
  • Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Food Security in Eastern Africa : Increasing Knowledge, Building Capacity and Developing Adaptation Strategies, funded by Finish government -headed by Dr. Mary Gikungu (PI)
  • ASARECA competitive grant. Integrating Agro-diversity with Conservation to Improve Livelihood in Savannah Ecosystem-Mara Serengeti Ecosystem. Funded by ASARECA. -headed by Charles Warui (collaborator)
  • The mosquito terminator, a predator that likes us and eats our enemies (Kenya coast,). Headed by Charles Warui (Co- PI)
  • Use of spider condition as an indicator of intra and inter-zonal variation of habitat quality in a disturbed mountainous forest ecosystem: Implications for conservation of Mt. Kenya biosphere reserve. Funded by IFS, headed by Charles Warui (Co- PI).
  • Effects of Termites on Biodiversity of East African Savannas with reference to spiders. Funded by NSF, headed by Charles Warui (Co- PI)
  • Assessment of Overall Spider Diversity & Establishment of the Status and Ecology of Two New Species of Spiders Toxoniella Taitensis & Toxoniella Rogoae, Taita Hills-KENYA.”. Funded by CEPF and Headed by Charles Warui (Co- PI)
  • “Sediment finger printing in the Mara river Basin; Uncovering relationships between wildebeest, tourism and non-point source pollution.”, funded by Yale University/ NSF. Headed by Musombi Kibberenge (Collaborator)


  1. Dr. Charles N. Lange -Senior Scientist & Head of invertebrates section. Area of Expertise Molluscs taxonomy, ecology and biodiversity studies. Also research on linkages between environment conservation and human health.
  2. Dr. Richard Bagine -Principal Scientist. Area of Expertise Termites – Biosystematics and ecology
  3. Dr. Esther Kioko -Senior Scientist. Area of Expertise Lepidoptera taxonomy, ecology and commercial insects expert.
  4. Dr. Charles Warui -Senior Scientist. Area of Expertise Taxonomy and ecology of Arachnids and terrestrial mollusks.
  5. Dr. Mary Gikungu -Senior Scientist. Area of Expertise Bee taxonomy and Pollination ecology
  6. Dr. Wanja Kinuthia -Senior Scientist. Area of Expertise Agriculture Entomologist/ Stored product pests
  7. Mr. Musombi Kibberenge -Research scientist. Area of Expertise Taxonomy and ecology of Mollucs, Earthworms and Below-ground arthropods
  8. Mr. Michael Mungai -Research scientist. Area of Expertise Orthoptera taxonomy and Ecology
  9. Mr. James Odanga -Research scientist. Area of Expertise Ants and Dragonflies taxonomy and ecology
  10. Mr. John Kochey- Research scientist. Area of Expertise Marine invertebrates i.e. crabs
  11. Mr. Laban Njoroge -Research scientist. Area of Expertise Medical and Forensic entomology and Aquatic arthropods
  12. Ms Ruth Achieng’ Nyapara -Research scientist. Area of Expertise
  13. Mr. Wanyoike Wamiti- Research scientist. Area of Expertise Phthiraptera & other parasite groups on birds
  14. Mr. Morris Mutua- Research technician. Area of Expertise Coleoptera taxonomy
  15. Mr. Joseph Mugambi- Research technician. Area of Expertise Lepidoptera taxonomy
  16. Mr. Daniel Karanja -Research technician. Area of Expertise Diptera taxonomy
  17. Mr. Reuben Mwakodi -Research technician. Area of Expertise Homoptera, Heteroptera

Section collaborators (Local & International)

  • Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan Prof. Zen’ichiro KAWABATA
  • The Mandahl-Barth Research Centre for Biodiversity and Health, DBL-Parasitology, Health and Development, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark Prof. Thomas K. Kristensen
  • Food and Agriculture Organization- Rome Italy Dr. Barbara Gemmill-Herren
  • BioNET-International, United Kingdom Dr. John Mauremootoo
  • The Field Museum, Chicago, IL USA Dr. Jason Weckestein (Phthirapterist)
  • Kenya Medical Research Institute Dr. Luna Kamau
  • ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute, S. Africa Prof Dr. Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman
  • Royal African Museum, Tervuren, Belgium Dr. Rudy Jocqué
  • FRSNZ, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, NEW ZEALAND Professor Robert R Jackson
  • University of Vermont, USA Prof Alison Brody
  • Texas A&M University and Solpugid Productions Kristie Reddick
  • University of Ghent, Dept of Biology, Terrestrial Ecology unit Liesbeth Wiersma
  • Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Chritopher Dutton, Amanda L. Subalusky

Other activities.

The section also serves in capacity building where the section staff provides hands-on training to students on attachment, visiting groups and also co-supervising MSc and PhD students. The section staff plays a role in care, curation and maintenance of the national invertebrates’ scientific collection. Further, the section staff contributes in research information dissemination via development and presentation of public exhibition, NMK’s Scientific Expo & Open Day, and specialized local and international scientific conferences.