Our Postgraduate Fellows

Temiloluwa Kuteyi

Temi is currently in her final year of Ph.D. studies on Hydrates Management in Low Liquid Systems within the Fluid Science & Resources group in the department of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering at University of Western Australia (UWA). She is a Chemical Engineer (Curtin University) with a major in Oil & Gas Engineering (UWA). She has four years’ experience as a Safety & Risk Consultant in Lloyd’s Register. She carried out various risk assessments and developed safety cases for various projects across Oil & Gas, Mining and Chemical industry.

 

Her research focuses on under-inhibition of hydrates using thermodynamic hydrate inhibitors. She was the lead researcher on an industry funded research project focused on the development and qualification of green novel chemicals to manage hydrate formation in long subsea tiebacks. Her incentive to explore under-inhibited operations is derived from the industry’s need to minimize capital costs and extend the reliable production lifetime of a field. Temi is available for collaborations with relevant academic, government and corporate partners in these areas.

Ahmed Elagali

Ahmed is currently a final year PhD student in Astrophysics at The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and The University of Western Australia (UWA). Before commencing PhD studies at ICRAR and UWA, Ahmed had a B.Sc. with Honours majoring in physics and mathematics from Khartoum University, another Honours degree in Astrophysics and Space Science from Cape Town University, South Africa, and then a Master Degree in Astrophysics at the latter university, where his research was on the local galaxy group motion and the cosmography of our local universe. Ahmed's main interest is studying atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies and understanding how this gas is affected by galaxy interactions and mergers and how that reflects on the star formation rates of the participant galaxies.

His PhD project explores galaxy interactions in group environments using both the observations and simulations. It also investigates the ramifications of galaxy-galaxy collisions and minor mergers, leading to the formation of the so-called ring galaxies, on the star formation and the neutral gas (atomic and molecular) of the participant galaxies. In addition to these, the project also studies less violent interactions in groups such as tidal harassments as well as the interactions with the intragroup medium looking for signatures of ram pressure stripping in galaxy groups using atomic hydrogen gas observations with the state-of-the-art Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope and the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) hydrodynamical simulations.

Natasha Coutts

Natasha is a doctoral candidate with the School of Human Sciences at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and a research affiliate of the Center of Excellence in Biology and Natural Resource Management at the University of Rwanda. Her project takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how habitat fragmentation can affect the gut microbiome of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Rwanda by drawing on methods and knowledge from fields such as socioecology, conservation biology, microbiology, population genetics, and bioinformatics. She holds a Bachelor of Biological Science (Advanced) from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Anatomy & Human Biology from UWA.  In addition to her PhD research, Natasha is also the Africa Programs & Campaigns Coordinator with the Jane Goodall Institute Australia.

Natasha’s research investigates how habitat fragmentation affects the gut microbiome of eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) throughout Rwanda. Her project includes three habituated chimpanzee communities:  one in an undisturbed, continuous habitat and two in small, degraded forest fragments, in Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura National Parks. By collecting dietary and social behavioural data in conjunction with faecal samples, Natasha hopes to identify not only the composition of the chimpanzee’s gut microbial communities, but also the mechanisms by which habitat fragmentation can act upon it.

James M Wainaina is PhD candidate at the school of Molecular sciences at UWA. James' research uses a combination of genomics and computational biology to understand vector-viral dynamics, with smallholder agro-ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, James is an Australia Award fellow (2015) and holds both a MSc in Biotechnology and BSc Biochemistry from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology and University of Nairobi respectively.

Omima Osman Mohammed Osman

Omima Osman is a PhD candidate in astrophysics at the University of Western Australia researching the details of how galaxies form and evolve. Omima firmly believes that data analysis, handling big data, informed decision making, and being fluent in programming languages such as Python are the future skills since we are on the doorstep of a new era of big data science. Through these skills we are able to figure a way to handle data with projects such as the SKA (Square Kilometre Array telescope). Omima holds B.Sc (Honours) in Physics from University of Khartoum (Sudan), ICTP Postgraduate Diploma Programme in General Physics from ICTP: The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy),  M.Sc in Astrophysics and Cosmology form University of Trieste (Italy). She is also the financial secretary of the Sudanese Society for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SSASS) which works on promoting science culture in the Sudanese society by uplifting the public awareness about science research and application, and their importance.

 

At UWA, Omima's PhD  research project involves analysing simulations of different galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Each of these simulations consists of millions of objects including stars and gas clouds from which stars are formed. All the objects form a dynamical system governed by physical processes and laws that we know they exist, yet there are a lot of details which remain to be uncovered by researchers. Her research is to understand how a tiny fraction of the galaxy called interstellar dust influence the dynamics of the whole galaxy from the theoretical point of view but also taking into account what observations tell us by comparing our results to observational data. This project combines two significant astrophysics fields, each of which is massive on its own. Her goal however is to develop as broad skills as possible and be fluent in the emerging field of data science which combines computer science, statistics and domain knowledge with limitless applications inside and outside astrophysics. She also uses Python language to do the analysis which is one of the future programming languages due to its growing society and its association with machine learning and deep learning.

Basil Amuzu-Sefordzi

Basil is currently a final year PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia. His research investigates the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Ghana, with particular focus on donor-funded projects. He also read masters in Environmental Science and Engineering from Hohai University, China, where he researched hydrogen energy production from farm and kitchen waste.

 

His research ranges from examining Africa’s hydrogen energy potential to investigating the adoption of solar, biogas, and improved cookstoves in rural communities. His work has been published in reputable journals such as Energy Research and Social Science, Environmental Progress and Sustainable Development, and International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. His research experience in Ghana would be indispensable to any project seeking to develop renewable energy technologies in Africa. With an in-depth knowledge of innovation diffusion and system transition theories, Basil is well-equipped to formulate policies that foster the development of clean technologies needed for the transition to more sustainable socio-technical regimes in Africa.

 

Basil has made presentations at international conferences in Russia, the United Kingdom, China, and Australia; has command over the English language; and a working knowledge of Chinese as well. As a Ghanaian, he speaks the Ewe, Twi, and Ga languages fluently.

Nosayaba Michelle Omokaro

Nosayaba (a.k.a. Nosa) is an AfREC postgraduate fellow who began her career as an independent fundraiser, sourcing monthly donations for relief-focused initiatives in third world spaces, such as in parts of Africa, for internationally acclaimed charities such as WWF and Doctors without Borders.

 

Her PhD research project seeks to create an appropriate engagement framework between the commonwealth and Nigeria using diaspora mapping techniques. 

Faiz Mohammed Kassim

Faiz is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, where his research investigates the effects of
psychostimulants on cognitive behaviour and psychosis. He has published in reputable journals such as Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal, American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, International Journal of Public Mental Health and Neuroscience and International Journal of Current Research. His research experience in Ethiopia and Australia would be indispensable to any investigations into effect of psychostimulants and drug addiction. Faiz has presented at international conferences in Morocco and USA. He understands numerous languages:  English, Arabic, Amharic and Afan Oromo.

Before commencing his doctoral research, Faiz studied for two masters degrees in Pharmacology and Philosophy at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia where he conducted research on Kat (Chat), a common psychostimulant in East Africa and Middle Eastern countries, and  the philosophical challenges for secularism and its post-narratives.

Johanne Eldridge

Johanne Eldridge is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia's School of Social Sciences where her research focuses on how transnational mobility and "mobile lives" impact on the wellbeing and social support networks of young, highly skilled West African health professionals moving into and out of Australia for work and educational opportunities. This project is currently linked to the Australian Research Council (ARC) Youth Mobilities, Aspirations, and Pathways Project 2017-2022 (YMAP).

 

Johanne holds both a BA (Psychology) and an MPH (Master of Public Health) from the University of Western Australia.

Ernest Nnadigwe

Ernest is the current chief executive officer of Redeemed Care Inc. (a counselling agency) and the executive director of Australian Christian Heritage Initiative. He is the President and Vice Chancellor of Australian Redeemed Training Institute. He is a member of Australia Counsellors Association (ACA) and holds Bachelor of Geological Sciences (Hons), Post graduate Diploma (Christian Ministry and Theology) and Masters of Social Science (Counselling and Psychotherapy). A skilled practitioner, Ernest has been a registered Counsellor in Western Australia for over 10 years; specialising in Relationship Counselling, Anger Management and Domestic Violence Counselling.

His research explores the underlying issues enabling FDV amongst African refugee migrant men who have experienced wars prior to migrating to WA. The focus of the research is to examine the complex interplay between traumatic experiences and perpetration of FDV, the effect of perceived negative masculinity on FDV perpetrators; and the use of cultural norms to compensate for perceived negative masculinity resulting in perpetration of FDV by African men in Western Australia.

Esther Matemba

Esther is an engineering education researcher currently working as a Research Associate on a project Virtual Work Integrated Learning (VWIL) at the University of Western Australia. The project, which is led by Professor Sally Male, is looking at the possibility of creating Virtual workplace for students to experience work-integrated learning in place of actual placement. She is also a doctoral scholar in the Department of Civil Engineering at Curtin University where her project on ‘Globalisation of Engineers: African Professional Engineering Education Perspectives’ focuses on the development of curriculum for globalisation with a particular interest in Africa.

 

Beyond her doctoral studies, Esther is also involved in teaching and learning with a particular focus on problem-based learning, team-based learning, team-teaching and multicultural learning environments. Esther is a co-founder of the 'Collaboration and Sharing Project for Engineering Educators', a project that seeks to establish collaboration between Australian and African engineering educators with the purpose of sharing teaching and learning methods and experiences. The project has been piloted in Malawi and Tanzania and with positive responses from the educators.

Isaac is pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Jilin University, China, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. His Master’s degree thesis focused on the response of the international community to the Boko Harm insurgency in Nigeria. He presented a paper entitled, "The Future of Migration", at the 2016 CICAS Inaugural Conference, organized by Nipissing University in Canada. Isaac subsequently presented another paper on, "The Future of Japanese Migration", at the 2016 JSA-ASEAN Conference organized by the Japan Foundation in collaboration with the Ateneo De Manila University in the Philippines.

Isaac's PhD attempts to analyse China’s increasing role in Africa in the area of peacekeeping and conflict resolution. China has provided troops to Mali and South Sudan under UN mandate and is building its first ever military base outside of China in Djibouti. This development raises a lot of questions about China's increasing presence in Africa. Isaac's research sheds light on the reasons behind these developments in order to ascertain whether they have been underpinned by genuine humanitarian considerations, or guided by purely economic and other interests.

Mr. Seth Appiah-Mensah is a veteran peacekeeper and a United Nations Staff Member. Prior to coming to UWA in October 2017, he was the Chief of Mission Support Planning Service at the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa. For over ten years, he worked in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNHQ New York, where he played a lead role in the planning and management of several UN and AU missions, such as UNAMID (Darfur), MINURCAT(Chad), AFISMA (Mali), MISCA/MINUSCA (CAR) and AMISOM (Somalia). He also served in peacekeeping operations in Liberia (ECOMOG) and Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). Seth was a member of the Ghana Armed Forces (Navy) for more than 23 years and held senior positions, including Commanding Officer Ghana Navy Ship YOGAGA, Military Advisor AMIS (Darfur) and the Aide de Camp to the President of Ghana (2002-2004).  He has published articles on maritime security and peace and security issues across Africa in international journals. He is graduate of Britannia Royal Naval College, UK, US Naval War College, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Command and Staff College, Jaji, Nigeria. He holds a Master of Arts degree (Maritime Policy) from the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Drawing together existing scholarly literature on pan-Africanism, regionalism and organisational theory, human security concept, policy documents, interviews with key informants in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Gabon, and personal experiences in peacekeeping policy-making and practice in Africa, Seth's PhD research will critique the failures of existing partnerships and develop a framework for pursuing more inclusive and hence more effective security partnerships within the continent.

Gashaw Jember is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, School of Social Science at the Department of Political Science and International Relations. He holds M.A. in Public Policy Studies from Murdoch University and B.A. in Political Science and International Studies at Murdoch University, Western Australia.

His current research is investigate and analyse what the US strategic objectives in contemporary Africa are, how the US faces a challenge from other great powers and African governments when it advances its economic, security, and geopolitical interests in Africa, and how this, in turn, impacts the realisation of US strategic objectives in the continent. His previous research focuses on US foreign policy and International terrorism.

Alicea Garcia is a PhD Candidate with the School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia. In 2015 Alicea completed an Honours Degree with the University of Adelaide focusing on innovative approaches for addressing gender inequality in international agricultural sectors. This inspired her to pursue a PhD with the University of Western Australia, with a specific focus on rural agricultural communities in Ghana, West Africa.

 

Alicea’s current research addresses the gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation processes in Ghana’s Central Region. The project specifically examines how related processes of power and social norms can affect the adaptive capacities of rural farmers. Alicea is also currently working with Universities in Ghana to plan and implement educational workshops in rural farming communities that will offer inclusive education on climate change processes and adaptation approaches. Alicea aims to continue to build research relationships in Ghana and Africa for building knowledge on opportunities for emancipation from inequality and improved strategies for elevating the adaptive capacities of rural farmers.

Andrew is a PhD student in the Department of International Relations. Andrew holds an MA International Relations (Wits), BA (hons) Politics and International Relations (UJ) and a BA Politics Philosophy and Economics (UJ).

His research interests are in Chinese foreign policy, China-Africa relations and Africa’s international relations. His PhD thesis explores China’s foreign policy strategy of engaging African political parties and the possible implications on governance in Africa.

Samantha Green is a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia’s School of Human Sciences. Her research focuses on space-use of chimpanzees in a high-altitude, low resource environment in Rwanda. Sam spent 15 months following wild chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest, in collaboration with the University of Rwanda. She is now using Geographic Information Systems to investigate the impact of rugged topography and low fruit quality and availability on chimpanzee ranging patterns. She hopes to contribute to chimpanzee conservation and our understanding of early hominid behavioural ecology in extreme environments. Sam completed her BSc with Honours in Environmental Science at UWA in 2008 and worked in Environmental Consulting for five years before commencing her PhD research.

Isaac Mensah is a PhD Candidate in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and has been a member of AfREC, then Africa Research Cluster since 2016. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Ghana, Legon in Ghana. Prior to enrolling as a student at UWA, he obtained his second Master’s Degree in Political Science – Democratic Governance and Civil Society from the University of Osnabrueck in Germany. 

The topic of Isaac's research is "Regionalism and counter-terrorism in Africa: A critique of African Union approaches". The central question this study seeks to answer is: How can the African Union (AU) be more effective in countering terrorism on the African continent? The study argues that the AU (as a continent-wide body) is the most effective level of governance for countering terrorism in Africa because it can act to mediate external interests, coordinate transnational activities and mitigate the failings of states. But in order for the AU to perform this role, it must broaden its definition of terrorism, tackle root-causes preventatively, and develop more effective institutional mechanisms.

Jaya is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia, supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship. Her research investigates the effects of seasonal food availability on foraging and grouping patterns of eastern chimpanzees in a tropical Afromontane forest in Rwanda. She has an interest in conservation and local capacity building to achieve conservation goals in Africa. Jaya incorporated this into her field research by providing student interns from the University of Rwanda with research methodology training and field experience. As she completes her PhD she will be developing her leadership and teaching skills through university tutoring roles. She will be also be attending the International Primatological Society conference in Kenya, August 2018 to present her key findings. On completion of her PhD Jaya plans to continue her career working with partners in Africa in the area of African great ape research and conservation. She has a Bachelor of Zoology with First Class Honours from the University of New England, NSW. Her honours study investigated the post-fire ecology and physiology of native Australian mammals.

Justice Nyema Nwabueze is a PhD Candidate in the Law School of the University of Western Australia. He holds a Master of Laws Degree in Petroleum Law and Policy (With Distinction) from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has won several awards including the Australian Government International Research Training Program scholarship, University of Western Australia Postgraduate Scholarship Award, University of Western Australia Safety Net Scholarship Award, Bentley University, USA full tuition (72, 730 USD )Deans award and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) full Scholarship award for LLM at the University of Dundee, United Kingdom.

Justice's research investigates how decisions of international trade tribunals, impact clean energy policies and choice of developing countries and ultimately their transition to low-carbon economies. The case study here is renewable energy disputes in the world trade organization, given that Renewable Energy is seen as one of the most important tools/alternative energy sources in the fight against climate change.

Ali Oumer is a PhD Candidate at UWA School of Agriculture and Environment. His PhD research focuses on the economics of sustainable intensification of maize production systems in Ethiopia. Prior to joining UWA, he worked as an Associate Researcher at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) in the areas of agricultural economics and research extension. He has M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Development from Copenhagen University, Denmark and B.Sc. degree in Plant Science from Haramaya University, Ethiopia. He researches in the interface between agriculture, economics and environment to find feasible solutions to multidimensional problems of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Muhammad is currently a completing PhD candidate at UWA where his research focuses on violent extremism and state-society relations in Western Africa, peace and security in Africa and Africa's IR. He has published extensively on his research interests in leading international journals such as Terrorism and Political Violence, Peace and Conflict Studies, Peace Review, Australian Review of African Studies, African Identities and African Security among others. He also presented at numerous domestic and international conferences. 

 

He is an analyst for a number of think tanks and has also received few awards including the 2018 Khalifa Al-Falasi Prize in Muslim Studies, awarded by the Centre for Muslim States and Societies at the University of Western Australia. Before commencing PhD studies, Muhammad received training in Political Science and Geography (Ghana), International Law (Sydney Law School) and Politics and International Relations (Macquarie University).

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Indigenous commitment

The University of Western Australia acknowledges that its campus is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practise their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge.