Knowledge for a sustainable world

Harnessing Pollination Services for Increased Bean Yields in Smallholder Farming Systems in East Africa

The overarching aim of this research is to identify the key pollinators of beans and the margin flowers on which they forage. This action will evaluate the impact of different agrisystems, field margins and non-crop habitat on ecosystem services,  especially pollination services, for smallholder bean-maize farming systems at multiple scales and determine additionally the role of trees as components of bean system landscapes and as pollinator forage and refuge. The work also entails the development of predictive tools to evaluate landscape traits for promoting pollination ecosystem services. The afore-mentioned objectives are being addressed through landscape and farm-scale assessments of floral resources and refuge for beneficial insects, observation and monitoring of pollen deposition by specific pollinators and interactions between these pollinators and non-crop flowers, DNA sequencing, chemical analysis and high resolution spatial analysis.

This work will result in the further enhancement of existing methods of maximising on and scaling up ecosystem services, especially pollination services, for increased agricultural yields. This will, in turn, bring to smallholder farming communities food and nutrition security, surplus and additional income from its sale, access to other necessities of life and ultimately incentivise them to conserve the biodiversity that facilitates these outcomes.

Primary Supervisor: Philip C Stevenson
Secondary Supervisor(s): Sarah Arnold, Steven Harte, Dr Angela Mkindi (External)

Cedric joined the University of Greenwich’s Natural Resources Institute (UoG NRI) in February of 2021 to carry out full-time doctoral research funded through a Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (FaNSI) Scholarship. He is also the Founder and Lead of Weed2Pesticide, a University of Oxford-endorsed social enterprise that is working towards the processing of an invasive weed into a bio-pesticide. Cedric holds a BAgrSc Hons in Animal Science and Rangeland Management from Lupane State University in Zimbabwe and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. He has also taken various short courses in tropical ecology, food systems, sustainability and leadership.

Prior to joining UoG NRI, Cedric had accrued over 8 years of agro-ecological research and environmental education experience gained from working in academia, and in the government, non-governmental and private sectors, spanning across 10 countries on 3 continents of the globe. The work that Cedric has done in all of his prior engagements has gone towards the realisation of his career goal, which is to facilitate the maximisation and scaling up of the benefits that African communities obtain from their natural environment, in such a way that would incentivise them to protect nature, in return.

  • Awarded 1st Place in the 2021 Early Stage Researcher Category Presentations at the Fifth Annual NRI Postgraduate Symposium at the University of Greenwich, UK
  • Recipient of the 2019 Graduate Entrepreneur Endorsement from the University of Oxford, UK (Entry: Weed2Pesticide Project)
  • Recipient of the 2018 MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management Dissertation Bursary Award at the University of Oxford, UK
  • Recipient of the 2018 MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management Field Travel Bursary from the University of Oxford, UK
  • Finalist in the 2017-18 Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust Business Enterprise Challenge (Entry: Weed2Pesticide Project)
  • Co-winner of the 2017 Vic Bouwer Memorial Wildlife Quiz Trophy from Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe
  • Recipient of the 2017 Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholarship for MSc studies at the University of Oxford, UK
  • Recipient of the 2017 Chevening Scholarship Award for MSc studies at the Universities of Leeds, Reading or Sussex, UK (Declined for the Above-Mentioned)
  • Co-Recipient of the 2016, and subsequently the 2017 Chessington Conservation Fund Grant
  • Co-recipient of the 2016 John Ball Zoo Wildlife Conservation Fund Grant
  • Co-recipient of the 2016 Tropical Biology Association Small Grant
  • Recipient of the 2015 British American Tobacco Biodiversity Partnership Scholarship for Field Course studies with the Tropical Biology Association, Tanzania
  • Recipient of the 2009 Zimbabwe Special Cadetship Scheme (Scholarship) for BAgrSc studies at Lupane State University, Zimbabwe

Memberships

  • British Ecological Society
  • Royal Entomological Society
  • Society of Chemical Industry
  • Greenwich University Model United Nations
  • Greenwich University Doctoral Society
  • Greenwich University African and Caribbean Society
  • Oxford University United Nations Association (Life Member)
  • Environmental Educators’ Forum of Zimbabwe
  • Zimbabwe Tropical Biology Association Alumni Group
  • Conservation Practitioners’ Association of Zimbabwe
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