Johnstone Omukoto Omuhaya

Lancaster University


Johnstone is an ERC ‘Hidden Hunger, Forgotten Food’ FAIRFISH project PhD student in Lancaster University’s Environment Centre, supervised by Professors Christina Hicks and Nick Graham. In 2001, he graduated with a BSc in Fisheries from Moi University, Kenya followed by a MPhil in Aquatic Resource Management in 2007. Johnstone works as a Research Scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute since April 2012 and formerly worked for three years as a Fisheries Officer at the Ministry of Fisheries Development in Kenya. Three years prior to this, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya. He has worked on numerous projects including the ESPA-funded “Participatory modelling of wellbeing trade-offs in coastal Kenya”, ESPA-funded “Sustainable Poverty Alleviation from Coastal Ecosystem Services” and on the MASMA Project: “A socio-ecological assessment of fisheries in three estuarine systems of the SW Indian Ocean – identifying essential links for improved governance”. His PhD focuses on the influence of changing socio-ecological system conditions on human nutritional security and the micronutrient benefits from tropical coastal fisheries. He aims to identify the determinants of nutritional outcomes in tropical coastal fishing communities.

Research Interests

Johnstone is interested in the linkages between coastal and marine ecosystems/habitats, ecosystem services from these habitats and contribution of the ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in coastal communities together with the accompanying management strategies, synergies and trade-offs. He aims to gain an understanding of ecosystem services use dynamics, ecology and people’s dependence on coastal and marine resources within a socio-ecological context. He has experience with various management options used in coastal tropical mixed species fisheries and he considers these as a significant input towards studying linkages among socio-ecological system states, types and quantities of fish species that are considered important for human wellbeing and potential ecosystem management strategies.

Exploring tradeoffs in wellbeing in coastal systems in Kenya

Selected Publications

  • Thoya P, Kaunda-Arara B, Omukoto J, Munga C, Kimani E, Tuda AO (2019) Trawling effort distribution and influence of vessel monitoring system(VMS) in Malindi-Ungwana Bay: Implications for resource management and marine spatial planning in Kenya. Marine Policy 109: 103677,
  • Omukoto JO, Owiti H, Mwakha VA, Munga CN, Wamukota AW (2018) Participatory assessment of priority fishery profiles in an overfished urban inshore seascape in Kenya. WIO Journal of Marine Science 17 (2): 79-92,
  • Daw TM, Coulthard S, Cheung WWL, Brown K, Abunge C, Galafassi D, Peterson GD, McClanahan TR, Omukoto JO and Munyi L (2015) Evaluating taboo trade-offs in ecosystems services and human well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112: 6949-6954,
  • McClanahan TR and Omukoto JO (2011) Comparison of modern and historical fish catches (AD 750-1400) to inform goals for marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries. Conservation Biology 25: 945-955,