JKUAT KISII CBD has become the first campus in South Nyanza and Western Region to have a collaborative research on Mathematics Applied in the Biological Sciences (Project), this has been confirmed by ALBORADA Research Fund Coordinator. In the hands of able Professors, Prof. Tim Pedley of Cambridge Research at University of Cambridge and Prof. Johana Sigey of Pure and Applied Mathematics Department at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) are leading Research Coordinators in the programme with one of our Ph.D student Mr. Rodgers Amenya in Mathematics field. He has spent two (2) months at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at University of Cambridge.
The programme is expected to start on 1st March, 2020 and end on 1st March, 2021. The purpose of this fund is to encourage research, training and engagement activities between University of Cambridge and the Sub-Saharan Africa. These award acts as a seed fund or catalyst to enable the development of new research activity and to further joint funding applications. The Award Fund offered is to the of £ 12,500 approximately above Kshs 1.6 million, for the project to strengthen the research capacity of African Researchers and/or the African research institutes or Universities.
The Workshop on Mathematical Models of Biological Mechanics is expected to be held at the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics of JKUAT Main Campus in July/August 2020. The workshop will be from two members of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, who will give several lectures on particular topics from their research:
Prof. Tim Pedley (on Physiological Fluid Dynamics) and Prof. Eric Lauga (on Micro-Organism and Cell Mechanics). The two professors; Prof. Tim Pedley and Prof. Eric Lauga are also experts in biomechanics of microorganisms. Others expected to give lectures are members of the Kenyan Applied Mathematics Community. Additionally, there will be a brainstorming session led by two or three University of Cambridge Ph.D students for other interested Ph.D and Post-Doc students.
The research problems that has formed the basis of the collaboration of these programme are two as suggested by Emeritus Prof. Geoffrey ole Maloiy, previously Animal Physiology professor at University of Nairobi (UoN) and also recently the Chancellor of JKUAT. First, it concerns the fluid mechanical mechanisms underlying filter feeding in the flamingo; this is a fascinating problem on which very little has been published, thus providing an exciting opportunity for the new Ph.D students in Biological Fluid Dynamics. Second, concerns the flow of blood in the neck of the giraffe, a topic on which Prof. Tim Pedley has published some papers; a significant observation that has not yet been explained, the blood pressure in the jugular vein actually appears to increase with height above the heart, not remaining approximately constant as the modelling has suggested.
Prof. Johana K. Sigey a senior Applied Mathematician and who also doubles up as a Director at JKUAT Kisii CBD campus, is expected to visit University of Cambridge in the spring or summer of 2021 to develop the research project further. The hoped-for benefits of these programme is to propagate the culture of applying mathematics to a variety of colleges and universities in Kenya and those surrounding African countries.