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RaoN_U22DEV Sustainable Aquaculture for Food and Nutrition Security in East Africa

   School of International Development

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  Prof Rao Nitya  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Aquatic foods have great potential for food and nutrition security for East Africa’s rapidly rising population. However, fish stocks in its numerous lakes are rapidly depleting, and aquaculture is poorly regulated, leading to environmental problems and fish diseases.

The Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development offers a PhD studentship to examine the conditions for sustainable, nutritionally-centred aquaculture in the Lake Victoria Basin of East Africa. The studentship covers a full bursary and tuition fees (home or international).

The PhD project will start in February 2023 and focus on:

  • Livelihoods and nutritional needs of communities around Lake Victoria in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Since men and women’s involvement in aquaculture in the region is markedly different, a gender analysis will be central.
  • Implications for fish breeding goals of the socio-economic research in terms of nutrition, marketability, farming methods, consumer preference, resilience to diseases and environmental conditions.
  • Environmental and animal health implications of current aquaculture, and implications for governance, for instance through appropriate zoning, or food safety implications.

The supervisory team consists of researchers at the School of International Development (DEV) at the University of East Anglia, and the Earlham Institute (EI).

  • Nitya Rao, Professor of Gender and Development (DEV), brings expertise in gender analysis in the context of food and nutrition security.
  • Johanna Forster, Associate Professor in Environment and International Development (DEV), brings interdisciplinary research expertise in fisheries governance, livelihoods and food security.
  • Wilfried Haerty, Group Leader (EI), is an expert on genomics for understanding the genetic basis of fish traits that will improve their resilience and marketability in the Lake Victoria Basin.

Candidates should hold a first degree (2:1 or above)  and a Masters in an interdisciplinary course of study such as natural resource management, development studies, environmental studies, as well as a strong affinity with fisheries and aquaculture in food systems.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is funded by the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062.


i) Forster et al. (2022) Prioritising wellbeing and resilience to Build Back Better: insights from a Dominican small-scale fishing community. Disasters (E-pub ahead of print, DOI: 10.1111/disa.12541).
ii) Turner, Forster et al. (2020) Information brokerage in Caribbean coral reef governance networks. Environmental Conservation 47(4), 284-294
iii) Lund, R, Kusakabe, K, Rao, N and N. Weeratunge (eds) 2020. Fisherfolk in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka: Migration, gender and wellbeing. Routledge. London. (co-edited the book and authored three chapters)
iv) Rao, N and R. Manimohan (2020) (Re-)Negotiating Gender and Class New Forms of Cooperation Among Small-Scale Fishers in Tamil Nadu. UNRISD Occasional Paper 11. Overcoming Inequalities in a Fractured World: Between Elite Power and Social Mobilization.

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