Executive Committee


Dr. Alan Carles

Brought up on a farm on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya, a foundation was laid for a major interest in wildlife.  An early choice was made to become a veterinarian, for which the course in Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University was a good preparation.  This included a year’s specialisation in Zoology which has been one of the most valuable parts of the course.  In 1961 Alan joined the Department of Animal Production of the Veterinary Faculty at Kabete, and retired in 2005. The main interest was the ecology of domestic livestock and wildlife, primarily in Kenya’s semi-arid lands.  Currently he has a consultancy with ILRI.  Membership of Nature Kenya (the East Africa Natural History Society) began sometime during the 1960s.  Alan has found his chairmanship of Nature Kenya most inspiring having realised the extent of Nature Kenya’s involvement in conservation.



Dr. Helida Oyieke

Dr. Oyieke has a PhD. in Marine Botany. She works as Chief Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya having served as the Director for Research and Collection at the same institution for about 10 years. She has a keen interest in environmental research particularly those leaning towards biodiversity and its conservation as well as community involvement in conservation. She is an expert in EIA and a strong supporter of Nature Kenya Conservation Programmes.



Mr. James (Jim) Birnie

Jim Birnie is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Public Secretary and has extensive experience in the areas of audit, accountancy and special investigation work. He was a partner with Coopers & Lybrand from 1972 until retirement in 1996. He is now retired, but doing some consultancy work and is a trustee of some pension schemes and charitable trusts; he is also a member of Rotary Club of Nairobi South and past president of the club. He has been treasurer of a number of organisations including all Saints Cathedral. Jim now lives in Naro Moru with his wife, Ann, who was the founder of Friends of Nairobi Arboretum and co-author of “trees of Kenya". Interests include travel, environment and golf.



Ms. Fleur Ng’weno

Ms Ng’weno is a naturalist, writer and editor, and has been involved in environmental issues in Kenya since 1963. She has been Honorary Secretary and Vice-Chairperson of the EANHS and has led the Wednesday morning bird walk since 1971. Ms Ng’weno was the editor of Rainbow Children’s magazine and has written several children’s books, countless magazine articles and a book chapter in Ethno-Ornithology: Birds, Indigenous Peoples, Culture and Society, published by Earthscan. For Nature Kenya, she wrote Community Guide to Forest Conservation, and is co-author of Marine Manual for Coastal Schools, Learning for Sustainable Living in Kenya and a book for children, Being a Bird.



Dr. Deborah Nightingale

Dr. Nightingale carried out fieldwork on Stumptail Macaques in Mexico before coming to Kenya in 1976 to do a three-year study on baboons at Gilgil. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCLA in 1982, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the External Programme of the University of London in 1996. She is an Environmental Consultant working on various issues including human-wildlife conflict, indigenous knowledge and environment, and ecotourism.



Ms. Lorna Depew

Ms Lorna Depew holds an MSc. in Zoology. She came to Africa in 1972 where she taught zoology at degree level for 20 years at universities in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, with an emphasis on ecology, primatology and ornithology. She has been on the Executive Committee since 1989 and previously held the post of Honorary Secretary with the Society. She has been an Editor of the Journal since 1997 and was a member of the Editorial Committee for several years before that. She was previously co-editor and then Editor of the Bulletin. She currently resides in Hawaii.



Dr. Evan M. Mwangi

Dr. Mwangi holds PhD and MSc (ecology and conservation biology respectively), with more than 15 years’ experience in academics, research, natural resources management, and consulting. He currently teaches ecology and environmental studies at the University of Nairobi and, has wide experience in projects on biodiversity, NRM, environment and climate change around Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.”



Ms. Irene Karani Njumbi

Ms. Njumbi holds an M.Phil in Wildlife Management from Moi University. She has been a Lecturer at Moi University and Daystar University teaching various disciplines of ecology and biology and has worked with the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya as the Programme Officer. She has also worked as a Pastoralist Project Manager in Practical Action formerly known as ITDG-EA (Intermediate Technology Development Group) and at Acacia Consultants as the Rural and Development Consultant. She was a Partner and Senior Consultant at Kesarine and Associates and is currently a Director of LTS Africa a subsidiary of LTS International.



Dr. Ian Gordon

Ian Gordon came to Africa from Britain to work as a University Lecturer in 1971. Since then he taught at five African Universities in Ghana, Zimbabwe and Kenya. From 1993 to 1998 he founded and ran a community-based butterfly farm (Kipepeo) at Arabuko Sokoke Forest. From 1998-2002, he co-ordinated an EU-funded BirdLife International Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Conservation and Management Project before  joining the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology as Head of the Environmental Health Division. He has led on the production of three regional conservation strategies: CEPF Ecosystem Profiles for the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya and for the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspots, and a MacArthur Foundation funded Strategy for the Great Lakes Region. From 2002 to 2010, he served as the Honorary Chairman of, Nature Kenya. In October 2010, he rejoined BirdLife where he is currently a part-time Programme Advisor.



Mr. Kuria Waithaka

Mr. Waithaka holds an LLM degree in Corporate and Mr. Waithaka, a Chevening Scholar, holds an LLM degree in Corporate and Commercial Law from UCL, University of London. He has also undertaken LLM studies in Air and Space Law at McGill University and in addition holds an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi. He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya (since 1997), a Certified Secretary and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is currently a Partner at KN Associates LLP, a corporate and commercial law practice. He has previously held senior legal, company secretarial, corporate affairs and compliance roles at the East African Breweries Limited, the Privatization Commission (Kenya), Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya Airways, Citibank N.A. and Kaplan & Stratton Advocates. A keen birder, Mr. Waithaka has a great interest in environmental conservation and community development.



Dr. Siro Masinde

Dr. Masinde holds a PhD in Systematic Botany from the University of Muenster, Germany and a BEd (Sc) from Kenyatta University. He has co/authored several scientific publications and is a member of several professional associations. He is a Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London and has served as the Regional Coordinator for Africa at ITHAKA, a US non-profit organization, helping the global academic and research community take advantage of information technologies. He has been a member of the EANHS since 1991 and is currently a Senior Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya.



Ms. Wakini Ndegwa

Ms. Wakini Ndegwa holds a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Oxford, England. She joined UNEP in 1987 to work in the Technology & Environment Branch (Energy Unit) and in 1989 began a twelve year career in banking with the following:-Commercial Bank of Africa, The African Mercantile Banking Company Limited, Mercantile Finance Ltd and National Industrial Credit Bank Limited. For the last thirteen years Ms. Ndegwa has served as the Executive Director of Kahuho Holdings Limited, a private family investment company with interests in the financial and property sectors. She is a Trustee of the Horse Association of Kenya and a Life Member of the East African Natural History Society. Ms. Ndegwa has strong interest in the preservation of natural resources and has been privileged to serve on the Nature Kenya Executive Committee as a Member and Trustee.



Mr. Upin Vasani

Upin Vasani holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Rajasthan University, India, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. He is also a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). He has previously worked at Kaplan & Stratton Advocates, Coopers & Lybrand Nairobi and KPMG East Africa, where he held the position of Regional Financial Controller. Currently he runs his own accountancy/audit practice. Mr. Vasani enjoys running in his leisure time and has completed several half-marathons amongst others. He is also a keen matchbox collector. He is an active member of the Friends of City Park and takes interest in the history of Asians in Kenya.



Dr. Darcy Ogada

Dr. Ogada holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Rhodes University in South Africa.  Currently she is Assistant Director of Africa Programs for the Peregrine Fund, a US-based NGO specializing in research and conservation of birds of prey. She is a member of the Bird Committee, co-Editor of Scopus, and Chairman of the Raptor Working Group of Nature Kenya.



Dr. Benny Bytebier

Dr. Bytebier holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He is a botanist with a strong interest in taxonomy, phylogenetics, biogeography and evolution of plants and has worked on African orchids for almost 20 years. He became a member of Nature Kenya in 1991 and has been on the executive committee since 1995. Since 1998 he has also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of East African Natural History, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the Society. He is a lecturer and the curator of the Bews Herbarium at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.