Associate Professor of Geology Catherine O’Reilly and Professor of Sociology Joan Brehm recently spent two weeks in Kigoma, Tanzania, as part of research and capacity building project supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The focus of the research is Lake Tanganyika, which supports a diverse and productive fish population. The lake is an important source of fish for the surrounding countries, and both climate change and fishing efforts may be affecting fish catches.

O’Reilly is working as part of a team to understand climate change impacts on the lake, and how this might affect fish populations. Brehm is working with a Tanzanian doctoral student on an investigation of fishermen’s local knowledge on how climate change affects their livelihoods and the lake. This information on fish catch and local people’s perceptions will be combined with the data on lake function collected by O’Reilly’s team to develop a more comprehensive approach to a sustainable fishing future.

The project is training three Tanzanian doctoral students, deploying the first buoy on an African lake, and developing a module that can be used to predict the lake and fish response to future climate scenarios.