Moses Makonjio Okello, Ph.D.

Title

Center Director

Location

Kenya

Education

Ph.D. in Philosophy in Wildlife Ecology and Management
University of Alberta (Canada)

M.Sc. in Wildlife Resources
University of Idaho (ID, USA)

B.Sc. in Wildlife Management
Moi University (Kenya)

Teaching

SFS 2060 Introduction to Swahili Language and East African Tribal Communities
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3151 Primate Behavioral Ecology in East Africa
(The School for Field Studies)

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About

Faculty Profile


Moses Makonjio Okello (Ph.D.) is a Professor of Tourism and Wildlife Management and Director of The School for Field Studies Center for Water and Wildlife Studies, Kenya. He studied at Moi University in Kenya (B.Sc) 1987 – 1990; University of Idaho, USA (M.Sc), 1991 – 1993; and the University of Alberta in Edmonton CANADA (Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Management), 1993 – 1996. He returned to Moi University between 1996 and July 1999 taught for department of Wildlife Management. He joined The School for Field Studies from July 1999 to July 2009 as a lecturer and rose through the ranks to full professor in 2006. He was appointed SFS Center for Wildlife Management Studies (CWMS) Director in July 2009. He then founded and directed SFS – CWMS Tanzania in addition to Kenya between September 2010 to 2012. He was appointed SFS Senior Director of East Africa between 2012 to 2015 overseeing SFS programs in both Kenya and Tanzania from 2012 to 2015. He left SFS briefly between 2015 and 2018 (when SFS suspended the Kenya program) to serve as full professor of tourism and wildlife conservation at Moi University in Kenya and returned to SFS in fall 2018 as CWWS Director in Kenya.

He has done extensive research over the years in wildlife ecology, wildlife conservation and ecotourism. He has given lectures widely around the world, including many keynote speeches in many conferences in the USA, Netherlands, the Caribbean, Rwanda etc. He has served on several boards of publication journals and conservation initiatives. He has published widely with over 10 book chapters and over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is an external examiner for University of Botswana, University of Namibia, University of Eldoret (Kenya), Maasai Mara University (Kenya), Egerton University (Kenya), KWS Training Institute KWSTI (Kenya) and MWEKA East Africa College of Wildlife Management studies (Tanzania). e hMost of his research work has been in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. He has influenced many conservation initiatives mainly in the Amboseli Ecosystem, collaborates with many conservation NGO’s including KWS, AWF, IFAW, and Big Life. His work in Amboseli has led to the establishment of some community and private wildlife sanctuaries and has influenced management plans in the ecosystem. In 2010, he served as a juror for the 2012 Indianapolis Zoo International Conservation Prize as a representative of Africa. He was appointed KWS Honorary Warden for Amboseli between 2014 to 2017. He was awarded a College of Natural Resources of the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources (Idaho, USA) International Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise


  • Protected area models and implications
  • Elephant ranging and associated conflicts
  • Wildlife-based tourism and associated dynamics
  • Carrying capacity for species and tourism
  • Human-wildlife interactions
  • Sustainable resource use

Professional Activities


  • Consultancies for NGOs focused on elephant conservation and human-wildlife conflicts, in collaborate with KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service), WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature), IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), and GIZ (German International Cooperation) Kenya
  • Professor of tourism and wildlife conservation (Moi University)
Outputs

Publications

Ngene S., Okello, M.M, J,Mukeka, S. Muya, S. Njumbi and J. Isiche. 2017. Home range sizes and space use of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in the Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania borderland landscape. International Journal for Biodiversity Conservation 9(1): 9 – 26
Okello, M.M., J.W. Kiringe, P. Muruthi, L. Kenana, H. Maliti, N.W. Sitati, E. Kanga, F. Warinwa, S. Bakari, S. Ndambuki, P. Muruthi, N. Gichohi, E. Maasawe, D. Kimutai, M. Mwita, D. Muteti, 2016. Post Drought Population Status and Trend of Specialized Browsers in the Mid Kenya-Tanzania Borderland. Natural Resources 7: 580 – 610.
Okello, M.M., J.W. Kiringe, L. Kenana, F. Warinwa, H. Maliti, N.W. Sitati, E. Kanga, S. Bakari, S. Ndambuki, P. Muruthi, N. Gichohi, E. Maasawe, D. Kimutai, M. Mwita, D. Muteti, 2016. Population Status and Trend of the Maasai Ostrich in the Mid Kenya-Tanzania Borderland. Natural Resources 7: 558 – 579.
Okello, M.M, L. Kenana, H.Maliti, J.W. Kiringe, E. Kanga, F. Warinwa, S. Bakari, S. Ndambuki, E. Massawe, N. Sitati, D. Kimutai, M. Mwita, N. Gichohi, D. Muteti, B. Ngoru and, Peter Mwangi. 2016. Population density of elephants and other key large herbivores in the Amboseli ecosystem of Kenya in relation to droughts. Journal of Arid Environments 135: 64 - 74
Okello, M.M., Njumbi, S.J., Kiringe J.W., and Isiiche, J. 2016. Prevalence of human – elephant conflicts in Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya: Current opinions of local community. International Journal for Biodiversity Conservation 8(3): 60 – 71
Bobby E Wishitemi, B.L., Momanyi, S.O, Ombati, B.G., Okello, M.M., 2015. The Link Between Poverty, Environment And Ecotourism Development In Areas Adjacent To Maasai Mara and Amboseli Protected Areas, Kenya. Tourism Management Perspectives 16:306 - 317
Okello, M.M., L. Kenana. D. Muteti, F. Warinwa, J.W. Kiringe, N.W. Sitati, H. Maliti, E. Kanga, H. Kija, S. Bakari, P. Muruthi, S. Ndambuki, N. Gichohi, D.Kimutai, and M. Mwita. 2015. The status of key large mammals in the Kenya – Tanzania borderland: A comparative analysis and conservation implications. International Journal of Biodiversity Conservation 7(4): 267 - 276
Okello, M.M., L. Kenana. J. W. Kiringe, F. Warinwa, L. Kenana, E. Massawe, E. Kanga, P. Muruthi, S. Bakari, N. W. Sitati, P. Muruthi, S. Ndambuki, N. Gichohi, D.Kimutai, M. Mwita, D. Muteti, and H. Maliti. 2015. Status and population trend of the common eland in the Kenya – Tanzania borderland: 2010 and 2013 survey analysis. International Journal of Biodiversity Conservation 7(4): 254 - 266
Okello, M.M., Njumbi, S.J., Kiringe J.W., and Isiiche, J. 2015. Habitat Use and Preference by the African Elephant, and Management Implications in the Amboseli Landscape, Kenya. International Journal of Biodiversity Conservation 7(3):211-226
Okello, M.M., L. Kenana, H. Maliti, J.W. Kiringe, E. Kanga, F. Warinwa, S. Bakari, S. Ndambuki, H. Kija, N. Sitati, D. Kimutai3, N. Gichohi, D. Muteti, P.Muruthi and M. Mwita, 2015. Population Status and Trend of the Maasai Giraffe in the Mid Kenya-Tanzania Borderland. Natural Resources 6: 159 – 173.
Okello, M.M., L. Kenana, H. Maliti, J.W. Kiringe, E. Kanga, F. Warinwa, S. Bakari, N. Gichohi, S. Ndambuki, H. Kija, N. Sitati, D. Kimutai3, M. Mwita, D. Muteti, and P.Muruthi. 2015. Population Status and Trend of Water Dependent Grazers (Buffalo and Waterbuck) in the Kenya-Tanzania Borderland. Natural Resources 6: 91 – 114
Okello, M.M. 2014. Economic contribution, challenges and way forward for wildlife – based tourism industry in Eastern African Countries. J Tourism & Hospitality 3(1): 122 – 134
Okello, M.M., J.W. Kiringe and S. Tome. 2014. Water quantity and quality dimensions in public and environmental health among the Maasai of Amboseli, Kenya. Environmental and Natural Resources Research 4(3): 227 – 244.
Okello, M.M., R. Bonham and T. Hill 2014. The pattern and cost of carnivore predation on livestock in Maasai homesteads of Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya: Insights from a carnivore compensation program. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 6(7): 502-521.
Okello, M.M., S.J. Njumbi, J.W. Kiringe and J. Isiiche. 2014. Prevalence and severity if current human – elephant conflicts in Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya: Insights from the field and key informants. Natural Resources 5: 462 – 477
Okello, M.M., J.W. Kiringe and F. Warinwa. 2014. Human – Carnivore conflicts in the private conservancy lands of Elerai and Oltiyiani in Amboseli Area, Kenya. Natural Resources 5: 375 – 391.
Okello, M.M. and M. Novelli. 2014. Tourism in the East African Community (EAC): Challenges, opportunities and way forward. Tourism and Hospitality Research 14(1-2): 53 – 66.
Howe Marian, Moses M. Okello & Jeremy M. Davis 2013. Interspecific Variation in the Distribution of Ungulates Relative to Human Infrastructure Surrounding Amboseli National Park. African Zoology 48(1):159-166.
Okello, M.M. 2012. The contraction of wildlife dispersal areas by human structures and activities in Mbirikani Group Ranch in the Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 4(6): 243-259.
Okello, M.M., Kieti, D. and Kenana L. 2012. Factors influencing domestic tourism for urban and seimiurban populations around Nairobi National Park, Kenya. Tourism Analysis 17: 79 – 89.
Okello, M.M. and J.M. Kioko 2011. A field study in the status and threats of cultivation in Kimana and Ilchalai Swamps in Amboseli Dispersal Area, Kenya. Natural Resources 2(4): 197 – 212.
Okello, M.M., Buthmann, E., Mapinu, B., and Kahi, C. 2010. Community Opinions on Wildlife, Resource Use and Livelihood Competition in Kimana Group Ranch near Amboseli, Kenya. The Open Conservation Biology Journal 4: 34 – 45.
Kioko J. And Okello M.M. 2010. Land use cover and environmental changes in a semi-arid rangeland, Southern Kenya. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning 3(11): 322-326.
Okello, M.M. and J.K. Kioko 2010. Contraction of Wildlife Dispersal Area in Olgulului – Ololorashi Group Ranch around Amboseli National Park, Kenya. The Open Conservation Biology Journal 4: 28 – 39.
Were GM, Ohiokpehai O, Okeyo-Owuor JB, Mbagaya G, Kimiywe J, Mbithe D & MM Okello. 2010. Soybean (Glycine max) Complementation and the Zinc Status of HIV and AIDS-affected Children in Suba District, Kenya. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development 10(3): 2187 – 2202
Okello, M.M. & Grasty, K. 2009. The role of large mammals and protected areas to tourism satisfaction in the Northern Circuit, Tanzania. Tourism Analysis 14: 691 - 697
Okello, M. M., & Yerian, S. 2009. Tourist satisfaction in relation to attractions, and implications for conservation in the protected areas of the Northern Circuit, Tanzania. Accepted for publication. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 17 (5): 605 – 625
Okello, M.M. 2009. Contraction of Wildlife Dispersal Area and Displacement by Human Activities in Kimana Group Ranch near Amboseli National Park, Kenya. The Open Conservation Biology Journal 3: 49 – 56.
Okello, M. M., Seno, S.K. & Nthiga, R. W. 2009. Reconciling peoples’ livelihoods and environmental conservation in the rural landscapes in Kenya: Opportunities and challenges in the Amboseli landscapes. Natural Resources Forum 33: 123 - 133.
Okello, M.M. & D’Amour, D. 2008. Agricultural Expansion Within Kimana Electric Fences and Implications For Natural Resource Conservation Around Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Journal of Arid environments 72:2179 - 2192
Okello, M.M., D.E. D’Amour & S.G. Manka. 2008. Tourism Attractions and Satisfaction of Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Tourism Analysis 13: 373 - 386
Okello, M.M., S.G. Manka & D.E. D’Amour. 2008. The Relative Importance of Large Mammal Species for Tourism in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Tourism Management 29 (4): 751 - 760.
Kiringe, J.W., Okello, M.M. & Ekajul, S.W. 2007. Managers’ perceptions of threats to the protected areas of Kenya: prioritization for effective management. Oryx 41(3): 1 – 8
Kiringe, J.W. & Okello, M. M. 2007. Threats and their relative severity to wildlife protected areas of Kenya. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research 5(2): 49 - 62
Wato, Y. A., Wahungu, G.M. & Okello, M. M. 2006. Correlates of wildlife snaring patterns in Tsavo West National Park. Kenya Biological Conservation 132(4): 500 – 509
Okello, M.M. & B.E, Wishitemi. 2006. Principles for the Establishment of Community Wildlife Sanctuaries for Ecotourism: Lessons from Maasai Group Ranches, Kenya. African Journal of Business & Economics 1(1): 90 – 109
Kioko J, Okello, MM & Muruthi, P. 2006. Human-elephant conflict outlook in the Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem, Kenya. Pachyderm 41: 53-60.
Kioko, J., Okello, M. & Muruthi, P. 2006. Elephant numbers and distribution in the Tsavo – Amboseli Ecosytem, South – Western Kenya. Pachyderm 40: 61 – 68
Okello, M. M. 2005. A Survey of Tourist Expectations and Economic Potential for a Proposed Wildlife Sanctuary in a Maasai Group Ranch near Amboseli, Kenya. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 13(6): 566 – 589
Okello, M. M., B.E.L. Wishitemi, and B. Lagat. 2005. Tourism Potential and achievement of Protected Areas in Kenya: Criteria and Prioritization. Tourism Analysis 10 (2):151 – 164
Okello, M. M. 2005. An assessment of the large mammal component of the proposed wildlife sanctuary site in Maasai Kuku Group Ranch near Amboseli, Kenya. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 35 (1): 63-76
Kiringe, J. W. and Okello, M. M. 2005. Use and availability of Tree and Shrub resources on Maasai Communal Rangelands near Amboseli, Kenya. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 22(1): 37 - 46
Okello, M. M. 2005. Land Use Changes and Human - Wildlife Conflicts in the Amboseli Area, Kenya. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 10(1): 19 – 28
Okello, M.M. and Kiringe, J.W. 2004. Threats to Biodiversity and the Implications in Protected and adjacent dispersal areas of Kenya. Journal for Sustainable Tourism 12(1): 55 – 69
Okello, M.M., Seno, S.K., and Wishitemi, B. L. 2003. Maasai community wildlife sanctuaries in Tsavo – Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya: management partnerships and their conditions for success. Parks 13(1): 7 - 15. IUCN Gland, Switzerland.
Wishitemi, B.E.L. and Okello, M.M. 2003. Application of the Protected Landscape Model in Maasai communally owned lands of southern Kenya. Parks 13(2): 21 – 29. IUCN Gland, Switzerland.
Donkor, N.T., M.M. Okello, E.W. Bork and R. J. Hudson. 2003. Seasonal dynamics and defoliation impact on herbage yield in Aspen Boreal Habitats of Alberta. Canadian Field Naturalist 117 (2): 196 – 202.
Okello, M.M., Wishitemi, B.E.L. and Muhoro, F. 2002. Forage intake rates and foraging efficiency of free ranging common zebra and impala. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 32 (2): 93 – 100
Okello, M.M., B.E. Wishitemi & A.M. Mwinzi. 2001. Relative importance of conservation areas in Kenya based on diverse tourist attractions. The Journal of Tourism Studies 12 (1): 39 – 49.

Books and Book Chapters

Okello, M.M. and Wishitemi, B.E.L. 2013. Wildlife dispersal areas and migration corridors: role of the Maasai. Chapter 7 pp 66 – 79 In Tourism Development in Kenya: critical issues, challenges and alternatives in the new millennium. East African Educational Publishers Ltd. Nairobi. 312 pp
Okello, M.M. and Wishitemi, B.E.L. 2013. A comparison of tourism potential and tourism Achievement of protected areas in Kenya. Chapter 3 pp 22 – 34 In Tourism Development in Kenya: critical issues, challenges and alternatives in the new millennium. East African Educational Publishers Ltd. Nairobi. 312 pp
Gaynor, K. M., S. M. Mwasi, and M. M. Okello. 2013. The insularization of Amboseli National Park, Kenya. In Proceedings of the IVth International Wildlife Management Congress, Durban, South Africa. The Society of Wildlife Management, USA.
Okello, M.M. and J.W. Kiringe 2011. The influence of swamps and seasons on the density and diversity of large mammals in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Chapter 6 in Elephants: Ecology, behavior and conservation. Science Publishers, Inc, New York, USA
Kiringe, J. W. & Okello, M.M 2010. Degradation of rangelands: causes, ecological, wildlife conservation and socio – economic implications. Chapter 1. pp 1 – 76. In Horizons in Earth Science Research. Nova Publishers, New York, USA.
Okello, M.M., Kiringe, J. W. & Kioko, J.M. 2010. The Dilemma of Balancing Conservation and Strong Tourism Interests in a Small National Park: The Case of Amboseli, Kenya. Chapter 6. pp 117 - 130. In National Parks: Biodiversity, Conservation and Tourism. Nova Publishers, New York, USA. .
Okello, M.M. 2009. Community participation challenges in resource conservation in Kenya’s rural landscapes: Lessons from Amboseli, Kenya. Chapter 2 pp 9-17. In Re-conceptualization of wildlife conservation: Towards resonation between subsistence and wildlife. African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) Press.
Okello, M.M. & Grasty, K. 2009. Contraction and Status of Maasai Lands as Wildlife Dispersal Areas and Implications for Wildlife Conservation in Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya. Chapter 2 pp 49 – 96. In Wildlife: Destruction, Conservation and Biodiversity. Wildlife Protection, Destruction and Extinction Nova Publishers Book Series. Nova Science Publishers Inc. New York, USA.
Okello, M.M. & Tome, S. 2007. The Chyulu Hills: Raison d’Etre and consequences of contested proprietorship of an idyllic resource oasis. Chapter 8 pp 123 – 138. In Culture and community: Tourism studies in Eastern and Southern Africa. Rozenberg Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 177pp.
Jones, B. T., M. M. Okello, & B. E.L. Wishitemi. 2005. Pastoralists, Conservation and Livelihoods in East and Southern Africa: reconciling continuity and change through the protected area approach. Chapter 8 pp 107 – 117. In The Protected Landscape Approach: Linking Nature, Culture, and Community. IUCN Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK. 268pp.